Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Broccoli-Cauliflower with Cheesy Spinach Béchamel

(Sformato di Cavolfiore e Broccolo con Balsamella di Spinaci)

It's not that I don't like broccoli and cauliflower. It's just that it's difficult to find recipes that really allow them to shine. Know what I mean? I mean sure, there's your basic steamed broccoli/cauliflower with a white sauce. Booooooooooooooring. 
 Or you could throw them into a stirfry - that at least showcases their nice crunchy texture and colour. 

Or, you could do as No Special Effects does and turn them into superstars in this deliciously creamy cheesy side-dish from Bon Appetit. Because once you've laid eyes on this mister and inhaled it's awesome aroma... well, there's no turning back, now is there?

Broccoli-Cauliflower with Cheesy Spinach Béchamel
Adapted from No Special Effects

Serves 6 - 8 as a side-dish

1 small head of broccoli, broken into small florets
1 small head of cauliflower, broken into small florerets
1 bunch (about 350g) fresh spinach
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup milk + another 1/3 cup
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
50g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
50g cheddar, grated
salt & pepper to taste

1. Fill a large saucepan with salted boiling water, add the cauliflower and broccoli and cook for a few minutes until just tender but still rather crispy. Remember they are going to be cooked in the oven again so don't overcook them. Immediately drain them in a colander (reserving 2/3 cup of the cooking liquid) and rinse with cold water to halt the cooking process. Set aside.
2. Next - steam/cook/microwave your spinach leaves for a few minutes until wilted, then drain and chop finely in a food processor. Set aside.
3. Now preheat your oven to 180C and then start making your bechamel sauce - melt the butter in the same large saucepan you used for the veggies, then add the flour. Stir to combine and gradually add the milk, stirring all the while to get rid of any lumps. Add the reserved water and cook, stirring continously until the sauce thickens.
4. Turn the stove off, and add the cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted into the sauce, then add nutmeg and season with salt & pepper. Add the spinach, stir to combine. Lastly add the cauliflower and broccoli. At this stage you might want to add an extra 1/3 cup of milk just to loosen things up a bit. I did and I think the end result turned out creamier for it.
5. Transfer the mixture to a 27 x 17 cm ovenproof casserole and bake for 35 minutes at 180C. Turn the heat up to 200C and return to the oven for another 10 minutes to brown on top.

Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 195.7, Total fat 10.9 g, Saturated fat 6.6 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.7 g, Monounsaturated fat 2.8 g, Cholesterol 29.0 mg, Sodium 313.3 mg, Potassium 825.0 mg, Total carbohydrate 16.2 g, Dietary fiber 5.9 g, Sugars 2.0 g, Protein 12.0 g

Good source of: Vitamin C 221.5 %, Vitamin A 125.1 %, Folate 53.2 %, Manganese 40.2 %, Calcium 30.1 %, Phosphorus 21.9 %, Vitamin B6 21.8 %, Riboflavin 19.2 %, Magnesium 19.8 %,


nina on October 14, 2009 5:29 am said...

Thank you for sharing, this is definitely a notch up from broccoli with white sauce....Maybe Sunday lunch, I hope I have time!!!

Manggy on October 14, 2009 6:16 am said...

I'm glad you liked it- looking back I find it hard to believe there were only 3 tablespoons of butter for the whole thing- it tasted wonderful!

Marisa on October 14, 2009 8:41 am said...

Nina - this is a very similar concept, just kicked up a notch which completely transforms the dish. Sublime if I do say so myself.

Manggy - to be honest I actually halved your 6 tbsp of butter - I just couldn't bring myself to add that much! But I don't think the taste was adversely affected at all.

Yum Yucky on October 14, 2009 12:04 pm said...

Wow! I see that nutmeg ingredient - would have never thought. This looks really INNN-teresting!

lucinda on October 14, 2009 4:16 pm said...

what is balsamella? you got me there...is it like besciamella??

Marisa on October 14, 2009 4:46 pm said...

Oh dear Felice, you got me! To be honest I just used the description from No Special Effects. Didn't even think to check the meaning...

Just checked with Google Translate - seems to be correct - meaning bechamel.

Marisa on October 14, 2009 4:47 pm said...

Update - both balsamella & besciamella is translated as bechamel by Google translate.

Bonita on May 03, 2010 11:00 am said...

Nice post.
Anyone send those for me?

sahnaz on June 22, 2010 8:49 am said...

good recipe...
i'll try it soon!!

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