My kids like broccoli, which is not to say they’re great eaters—they’re not and I’d never jinx myself anyway—but it’s one of the few vegetables they happen to like. But if you’re cooking for broccoli-phobes, give these tots a try. Though they’re baked in the oven, they taste strikingly similar to deep-fried tater tots, especially when dipped in ketchup.
I often make these for dinner when the kids’ friends are over, and I’m always surprised by how voraciously they devour them. Who knew kids could go so wild over broccoli?
Reprinted from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal with permission by Chronicle Books, 2018. —Jennifer Segal
Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C] and set a rack in the middle position.
Fill a medium saucepan with 1 in [2.5 cm] of water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cover with a lid; reduce the heat to low and steam for 5 minutes, or until tender but still crisp. Drain well.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place the cooked broccoli and onion. Process until very finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
To the broccoli mixture, add the potato flakes, cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Stir until evenly combined.
Spread the oil onto a 13-by-18‑in [33-by-46‑cm] baking sheet (do not line the pan with aluminum foil, as the tots will stick). Scoop out heaping tablespoons of the broccoli mixture; squeeze the mixture in your hand to compress it, then form into tot-shaped rectangles. Arrange the tots on the baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom and firm to the touch on top. Remove the pan from the oven, then carefully flip the tots over. Return to the oven and cook until uniformly golden, 13 to 15 minutes more. Serve with ketchup.
Jenn Segal is the founder of Once Upon a Chef, the popular blog showcasing easy, family-friendly recipes from a chef's point of view. Her recipes have been featured on numerous websites, magazines, and television programs, including The Huffington Post, WJLA's Good Morning Washington, and Parade.com. Before starting her blog, Jenn cooked at the acclaimed L'Auberge Chez Francois and was director of marketing for a prominent restaurant group, both in the Washington D.C. metro area. She now lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and two children.