There is a bit of a background story on this one so scroll on down if you just want the recipe. Oh, and sorry I didn’t get photos like I planned
Since we joined our local Grange a few months ago one of the highlights has been the food at the pre-meeting potlucks (where all the real work gets done, btw). While I have always had a bit of performance anxiety around bringing something crowd worthy to communal food gatherings, these folks really raise the bar. I live in a community of exceptionally good cooks. With big gardens full of the freshest ingredients. It can be a little intimidating. Last time I brought what I thought was a lovely Caesar Pasta Salad, only to be a middling contender amongst half a dozen pasta salads. We brought home half the dish – which was darn tasty the next day, but still…
You see my goal is to bring home an empty container, and if I’m honest, I wouldn’t be upset if lack of getting seconds of my dish caused some mild grumpiness.
But on the flip side is my “Made Up Food” personality and the fact that I just can’t seem to bring myself to follow a recipe to the letter. Plus we really didn’t have the time or inclination to haul ourselves to the store. So what can be made with this week’s CSA veg?
I’ll be posting more about my methods, and asking for new ones soon, but suffice to say I did what I always do and scoured a bunch of recipes to steal bits from. I have come to believe that most vegetables taste best roasted, so instead of the common boiling, that’s what I did. It does take a bit more time and effort but I think it is the key for this dish. I hold up the fact that my big Pyrex casserole was squeaky clean before anyone had seconds. And it had some serious competition at what was the best potluck yet.
Roasted Cauliflower, Broccoli & Potato Cheese Bake
- 1 small head cauliflower
- 1 small head broccoli
- 3-4 medium/small potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
- 2-4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- fresh herbs or dried such as rosemary, thyme, basil and/or oregano
- sprinkle of chili powder
- salt and pepper
Clean and chop vegetables in bite size pieces, toss with olive oil, herbs & spices on lightly greased baking sheet and roast in 375 ° oven for 15 minutes, check and stir/flip pieces.
Roast for another 15- 20 minutes until browned and tender. When they are done transfer them to a casserole dish. I used a big 13 x 9 but you can do a thicker layer in a square or round if you increase the backing time.
Once they are on the final stage you can get busy with the
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 – 1 cup milk
- OR -
- 2/3 cup milk + 2 TBSP plain Yogurt ( because I ran out of milk, a happy accident)
- about 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (I added a bit of Parmesan)
- 1 teaspoon good mustard
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder (if you have it)
- chili powder ( I think about 1 tsp)
- cayenne pepper to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter, and stir in flour. Gradually whisk in milk, and increase heat to medium. As the mixture thickens, whisk in the spices. Add the mustard and continue whisking until a thick sauce has formed, being careful not to allow the mixture to boil. Sprinkle in 2/3 of the cheese, and stir until melted.
Pour sauce over broccoli and cauliflower. Bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, until bubbly and lightly brown. Sprinkle with remaining cheese during the final 10 minutes of cooking. This part only took 20 min + 5 for me since the big dish yielded a fairly thin layer. This also resulted in more cripsy bits per square inch, so that was a good thing.
There it is, a lick your plate clean potluck option. The only sad part of this story is that dear husband missed out on tasting the final product because he was too polite on the first round and it was gone by the time he went to refill his plate. Based on his dismay, I don’t think that’s going to happen next time.