I have an enormous amount of fresh broccoli, what can I do with all this other than just steam it?

  • Posted by: Prose
  • June 30, 2015


sonya August 10, 2015
I would do a yummy cheddar broccoli side dish, myself; my favorite recipes are the Broccoli and Cheddar Gratin (cooksillustrated) and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce (cookscountry), which I'll paste below. I've also heard of broccoli salads made with cold steamed broccoli. It's also great stir-fried with different spices/herbs that you can coordinate with the rest of your dinner; for that I would just go to allrecipes.com or bigoven.com for ideas (my list is too long - lol). I've also done a pasta salad with broccoli and olives that we liked, broccoli and swiss cheese quiche, pasta with broccoli, sausage and roasted red peppers, broccoli and cheddar soup, and broccoli dip in a bread bowl. Don't just steam it - there are so many more yummy ideas! Oooh, you can roast it too, that's great!

Broccoli and Cheddar Gratin

Published November 1, 2007.

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Why this recipe works:

In developing a broccoli gratin recipe, our goal was to marry tender yet toothsome broccoli florets with a lightly thickened sauce, then to top it all off with buttery, crisp crumbs. We parcooked the florets before adding them to the gratin to ensure just the right amount of cooking time. Then we made a simple Mornay sauce with shallots, garlic, nutmeg, and cayenne, and added cheddar cheese for flavor and smooth texture. Freshly baked bread crumbs finished off our broccoli gratin recipe, giving it a perfectly toasted crust.
Serves 6

Bread Crumb Topping
2 slices white sandwich bread, each slice torn into quarters (about 2 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon table salt plus an additional 1/4 teaspoon
2 pounds broccoli (about 1 large bunch), florets trimmed to 1-inch pieces, stalks peeled and chopped medium
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
pinch fresh ground nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 cup)


1. For the topping: Pulse bread, butter, salt, and pepper in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside.

2. For the filling: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 450 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven or stockpot over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli; cook until exterior is tender but interior is still slightly crunchy, about 3 minutes. Drain broccoli in colander; leave in colander while preparing sauce.

3. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat; when foam subsides, add shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds; stir in flour until combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream and broth; bring to boil. Stir in nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, thyme, and two-thirds cheese until incorporated. Off heat, gently stir in broccoli until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to 11- by 7-inch (2-quart) gratin dish. Sprinkle remaining one-third cheese evenly over surface, then sprinkle evenly with bread crumb topping. Bake until golden brown and sauce is bubbling around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately.


Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
From Cook's Country | February/March 2011

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Why this recipe works:

Initial attempts at constructing a serviceable Broccoli with Cheese Sauce fell flat, as the sauce kept separating. Because fat helps prevent this problem, we switched from milk to half-and-half thinned with a little water. We found cheddar cheese to be extremely flavorful, but when used alone it left the sauce gritty. Switching to equal parts Monterey Jack and cheddar solved the problem, while a little Parmesan added nuttiness.

We tried several methods to prepare the broccoli and settled on roasting, which resulted in a more distinct nutty flavor that perfectly complemented the cheese sauce. It also produced drier broccoli, which prevented the sauce from sliding off.
Serves 4 to 6

For a silky smooth sauce, wait until the Monterey Jack and cheddar are thoroughly integrated before you add the Parmesan. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons of hot water.

2 pounds broccoli, florets cut into 1-inch pieces, stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. After 15 minutes, toss broccoli, oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Arrange broccoli in single layer on hot baking sheet. Bake until spotty brown, 15 to 18 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in half-and-half and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Off heat, whisk in Monterey Jack and cheddar until smooth. Stir in Parmesan until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve sauce over broccoli.
Hemz7781 July 6, 2015
I agree with all of roasted broccoli suggestions. This recipe, from NYTimes, tops it off with a tahini sauce. I must make this once a week, we all love it so much.

spiffypaws July 2, 2015
I roast it and use it in place of some of the pasta in mac and cheese
Hillary R. July 1, 2015
Personally, I LOVE roasted broccoli, to the point that the edges are crisp like a kale chip. Sprinkle with olive oil and lots of salt; yum!! Otherwise I like to cook it til it's quite soft and add to eggs--maybe make a quiche or frittata.
Dorie C. June 30, 2015
I love making my mom's Broccoli and Bowties: https://food52.com/recipes/25353-silky-broccoli-and-bowties
dinner A. June 30, 2015
I love grilled broccoli! Grill it in big branching pieces (I like to grill vegetables dry and add olive oil afterwards, but you can do the opposite if you prefer) and season with salt, lemon, and a bit of chile pepper (Urfa pepper is awesome if you have it, but probably any chile flake you like would be good). You can stop here, but a little lemony tahini sauce drizzled on top is a great addition.
Dina June 30, 2015
This recipe from the New York Times is awesome, and perfect for using up a ton of broccoli. You can make a huge batch and just eat off it for the next few days, and it tastes equally good if you just toss the marinated broccoli into the oven to roast for 20 minutes or so.

Niknud July 1, 2015
That is my favorite favorite way to eat broccoli! In fact, I was looking at this thread and thinking about pulling up the link to it when I saw you had already roasted it. This treatment of broccoli is genius. I have never roasted it, but I have blanched it for about a minute to take the edge off, but raw is delicious too.
Niknud July 1, 2015
and by 'roasted' I meant 'posted.'
mstv June 30, 2015
Hot or cold broccoli soup.
Molly June 30, 2015
Smitten Kitchen has an amazing broccoli slaw recipe that I made last week and am still craving. Next time I plan to cut the sugar in half, and I was sure to soak the red onions in ice water first to take out some of their bite.

Sarah N. June 30, 2015
We've been eating a ton more broccoli now that I've started roasting it. You cut up and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or so (maybe longer) until the bottom and edges are brown and crispy. It's so delicious - almost like broccoli fries. Works equally well on the grill!
Hillary R. July 1, 2015
Oops, just gave the same answer!! This is my absolute favorite way to make broccoli.

Voted the Best Reply!

drbabs June 30, 2015
The Genius recipe broccoli cooked forever https://food52.com/recipes/15632-roy-finamore-s-broccoli-cooked-forever is just wonderful, and you can serve it with rice or pasta as a main dish, or as a side to so many things. I even like it cold from the refrigerator, dressed with a little lemon juice.
Sarah J. June 30, 2015
I second that!
jessicamclement June 30, 2015
you can blend it with some garlic, olive oil, and a handful of nuts to make a pesto sauce.
Susan W. June 30, 2015
I know it's not really soup weather, but I love this soup and always have a batch in the freezer.
PieceOfLayerCake June 30, 2015
The nation of South Korea has this lovely little dish called pajeon. They're delightful pancakes made from a simple batter and pretty much anything you can think of, the typical ingredients are kimchi and garlic chives, but thinly sliced broccoli can be added. They are usually served with a yummy dipping sauce.

EatYourKimchi, which is a killer blog/vlog by a Canadian couple living in Korea, has a pretty simple recipe: http://www.eatyourkimchi.com/how-to-make-pajeon/
Hillary R. July 1, 2015
Oh, interesting! I've eaten lots of pajeon, but never had it with broccoli. I'll have to try.
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