For Thanksgiving dinner this year, I brought a side dish and dessert to my in-law’s house. For dessert I made a sweet potato pie [which I shall not be blogging about as it cracked in the center, the bastard] and then for the side dish I made this really delicious gratin from Real Simple magazine. Every time I bring something for a holiday dinner, I try to make sure it can simply be reheated in the oven, since stove top space is at a premium, so this was perfect.
Broccoli and Gruyere Gratin, adapted from Real Simple magazine
2 large bunches broccoli, roughly chopped (about 12 cups)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk [the recipe called for whole milk, but I used skim with no issues]
2 cups grated cheddar-gruyere
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 shallot, diced
Preheat oven to 375. Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and steaming basket, bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, bring it down to a simmer and add the broccoli to the pan. Cover and steam for about 4 minutes, until the broccoli is vibrant green and tender.
Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent and fragrant. Add in the flour and stir briskly to combine. Once combined, slowly add in the milk, and keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken. Once the sauce thickens, add in one cup of the cheese and continue stirring until melted. Once fully incorporated, turn off the heat. Add in the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Put the broccoli in a large bowl and add the cheese mixture. Make sure the broccoli is evenly coated, then pour the mixture into a 7 x 11 baking pan. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is nicely browned.
While this was cooking, it smelled amazing. Gruyere is such a great cheese for baking, it melts so beautifully. I actually used a cheddar-gruyere block of cheese that I got at Trader Joe’s because while I like gruyere, I also like having the sharpness of cheddar in there. This reheated really well the next day and tasted great; everything about this was satisfying, from the creamy cheese sauce to the perfectly cooked broccoli. A great addition to any holiday table!