This is a delicious late Spring dish that combines two of my favorite vegetables – which also happen to be two of the greatest superfoods available – with Omega 3 and vitamin rich low-fat milk and cheese from grass-fed cows. When you combine all these healthy and delicious ingredients together we end up with some pretty amazing sublime yumminess.
This is one of my cooking leverage dishes where there is work up front to make the dish but you multiple meals out of it. I typically would make this on a Sunday and we would have the leftovers throughout the week. For the amount in the recipe I can easily get at least 10 servings.
Some items you’ll need:
- Large pot for boiling
- Sauce pot for milk & cheese
- Large bowl filled 3/4 with ice water
- Sauté pan
- Large casserole or baking dish
- 4 cups Broccoli, organic
- 2 bunches Spinach, organic
- 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
- 1 Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 cup White Cheddar Cheese, shredded, grass-fed/pastured cows or organic at least
- 1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded, grass-fed/pastured cows or organic at least
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded
- 2 cups Low Fat Milk, grass-fed/pastured cows or organic at least
- 1.5 cups Homemade Bread Crumbs
- 1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbs. Unsalted Butter, grass-fed/pastured cows or organic at least
- 1.5 tbs. White Whole Wheat Flour
- Dash of Ground Nutmeg
- Lets get all the chopping out of the way. Cut the broccoli into florets and slice the stems, set aside. Chop and dice the onions and garlic, set aside. Remove most of the stems from the spinach and rough chop, set aside. Preheat the oven to 375.
- Fill the large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and boil for 2 minutes. Remove and place into bowl with ice bath to stop cooking.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, add the onions and cook 3-5 minutes to allow the onions to sweat a little, you want them starting to become translucent.
- Add the spinach to sauté pan and season with salt, may have to do this in batches. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 50% then add garlic and season with salt and pepper then cook several more minutes until spinach has reduced by about 80% total and set aside.
- Take ½ a tablespoon of the flour and toss it with the shredded cheddar and jack cheeses - this is an old fondue restaurant secret I learned that will help the cheese to melt perfectly.
- Heat the sauce pan over low heat and melt the butter. Add the remaining tablespoon of flour to the pot and stir quickly to cook the flour but not overcook the butter. We're making a roux and we have to watch it wry closely. You don't want the butter to brown, barely light golden at most. Then add the milk to the pot.
- Cook the milk over medium-low heat until just below the boiling point. Add a dash of nutmeg to the pot and stir it in. Adding nutmeg to cream dishes is an old Mediterranean tradition that gives it a very subtle pop.
- Add the cheese to the pot a little at a time and stir constantly until fully incorporated, lower heat to low and cook for a couple minutes to allow flavors to marry.
- Now we are bringing it all together! Drain the broccoli and add to the casserole dish, add the spinach and onion mixture to the dish, pour the cheese sauce over everything and stir to coat and mix everything together.
- Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top of everything and sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top of the gratin as well.
- Cover with tin foil and cook in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Remove cover and place under the broiler for a minute or two to get a nice golden brown crust.
- Serve and enjoy!