This recipe is a combination of two comfort foods in one — smooth broccoli cheese soup and the crunch of a cauliflower gratin, which makes us love it doubly more! Make sure to use a high-quality, flavorful cheese (or a combination) to compliment the mellow veggies.
We baked this decadent side dish in a fair trade La Chamba casserole. It’s versatile earthenware from La Chamba, Colombia, handcrafted by women using pre-Hispanic traditions that originated in this area. This clay cookware is durable, safe, and easy to use. It makes a great statement on the table, especially on a cold winter night.
Cauliflower & Broccoli Cheese
Recipe adapted from “Save with Jamie” by Jamie Oliver
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced fine
4 T unsalted butter
4 T unbleached flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 lb fresh broccoli, cut into florets
3 oz shredded mature cheddar cheese or gruyere, or a mix
2 lb fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
2 slices of ciabatta or stale bread (or just use a few handfuls of Panko or your favorite breadcrumbs)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 T sliced almonds
olive oil (we use Nabali Tree Olive Oil from Canaan Fair Trade)
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium-sized pan (we used a cast iron skillet), melt the butter with the sliced garlic on medium heat. When the butter has melted, whisk in the flour for a minute to make a paste, then gradually add the milk, whisking as you go, until smooth. Add the broccoli and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through and starts to break down. Mash the broccoli and cheese mixture or use an immersion blender to create the sauce (you may add an extra splash of milk to loosen). Grate in half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the cauliflower in your casserole baking dish, pour over the broccoli cheese sauce, and grate the remaining cheese on top. Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs in a food processor, then pulse in the thyme leaves and almonds. Toss the topping with a few tablespoons of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, then scatter evenly over the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden and cooked through. Enjoy!
We used the oval casserole La Chamba dish for this recipe, but they come in traditional casserole shapes with lids and they even have bowls and tureens! Check your local Fair Trade Winds for availability.