You know how one bite of broccoli cheddar soup is simultaneously velvety and cheesy and dotted with toothsome green broccoli florets? This easy bake has all the flavor components of that comforting soup, but it’s a bit more filling and is jam packed with healthy cruciferous veggies.
Rather than relying on broccoli alone, we’ve added cauliflower to the mix. Though the two are close cousins and they have a lot in common, they offer up different flavors, which we find adds a little more depth to the dish than just using a solo veggie. Where broccoli tastes green and subtly bitter, cauliflower has more of a mild and nutty cabbage flavor. They’re both packed with vitamins A, C, and K, and they both taste totally amazing with cheese, so what’s not to love?
For this dish, we find it helps to give the veggies a quick blanch – just until they’re crisp-tender – before folding them into the cheese sauce so that they come out of the oven tender but not mushy. Adding a little ground mustard to the cheese sauce gives the sauce a subtle tang. (We love to use it when we make mac and cheese too.) If you don’t have any on hand, a little scoop of Dijon mustard will do just fine.
Call it a gratin, call it a bake, call it a roast… whatever you call it, it’s a nutrient-rich and delightfully cheesy side dish that finds its way to our table frequently. We think once you try it, it’ll be a frequent visitor at yours as well.
Broccoli Cauliflower Roast
Serves 4-6; 40 minutes
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 1 pound cauliflower florets
- 2 cups milk, heated
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and lightly grease a baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli and cauliflower, cooking until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and place in prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, make the cheese sauce. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and whisk in the flour. Cooking, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
- Slowly add the warm milk, whisking continuously. Continue cooking until mixture has thickened.
- Add mustard, season with salt and pepper, and turn off the heat. Add 1/2 of the cheddar cheese and 1/2 of the Monterey Jack cheese and stir until melted and combined.
- Pour cheese sauce over broccoli and cauliflower in prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheeses.
- Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!