Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Broccoli Rice Gratin

I recently tried a recipe for broccoli rice casserole that was made with evaporated milk and flour to create a cheesy-white sauce. The combination tasted way too much like Velveeta for me. So when I saw wilting broccoli in the vegetable crisper the day before grocery shopping, I decided transform it into my go-to French gratin with ingredients I had on hand. Yum.

Broccoli Rice Casserole


Ingredients

1 cup brown rice (3 cups cooked)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus some to oil the pan
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large heads broccoli (3 cups of florets)
2 cups shredded cheddar, Gruyere or other cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream (or milk)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Tony's Creole Seasoning (or salt & pepper) to taste
Healthy sprinkle of dried thyme (2 tablespoons or to taste)

Preparation

1. Cook rice according to package directions and set aside when done.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease casserole or gratin pan with olive oil.

3. Saute' onions and garlic in olive oil until they start to caramelize. When sufficiently tan, remove from heat, combine with rice and season to taste.

4. Clean broccoli, breaking the heads into bite-sized florets. Steam until bright green, but just this side of done. When the tooth is right for you, drain, dress with fresh lemon juice and set aside. (If you want to use the stems, peel and steam these longer; dice before adding to the rice.)

5. Whisk eggs with cream. Fold in the primary cheese - in this case cheddar. Mix with rice, onions. Fold in broccoli.

6. Transfer to greased gratin dish. Top with grated parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, until the body is bubbly and the top is nicely brown.

Serves 6 or 8.

Way to clean out the refrigerator before Thanksgiving!
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