GOING GREEN WITH GRATIN! Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin

I’m “going green” in March because it’s just the thing to do and also because I am a judge for an international St. Patrick themed recipe challenge sponsored by Very Good Recipes (Details follow the recipe.) 

About My Recipe:
     I’ve been wanting to combine broccoli and cauliflower to create a gratin for sometime so, this veggie dish seemed to be an appropriate way to introduce the March Saint-Patrick Challenge.
     The word gratin can refer to a dish that is prepared in the au gratin style, which means that it's topped with seasoned bread crumbs and cheese and then baked. Gratin can also refer to a flat, oval shaped dish with handles on each end. Perhaps the most popular gratin recipe is Potatoes au Gratin but other vegetables are often prepared in a similar style.
     For our green gratin (made in Kansas, USA), I combined broccoli with cauliflower and simply baked it in a square casserole dish.  I used a velouté sauce instead of the customary béchamel (white sauce)It is identical to a white sauce except that light-colored stock (chicken, veal, fish, vegetable) is used in place of the milk. 
    Or, if you're not into just white, leave out the broccoli and increase the cauliflower for Cauliflower Gratin.
Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin  Makes a 9”x 9” casserole or double the amounts for a 13”x 9” dish
2½ cups broccoli florets (about ¾ to 1 lb.)
2½ cups cauliflower florets (about 1 lb.)
1 cup stock or broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ to ½ teaspoon salt (depending on the saltiness of the stock)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup sharp Cheddar cheese – divided use
¼ to 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Drizzle of olive oil

1.     Preheat oven to 425°. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
2.     Vegetable Prep — Cook broccoli in large pot of boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until almost tender. Remove with slotted spoon and place in a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Add cauliflower to boiling water; cook 3 minutes or until almost tender. Place in ice water. Remove both vegetables to a colander and drain well; pat dry. Place in prepared baking dish.
Adding the cooked broccoli & cauliflower to ice water stops the cooking & helps broccoli retain it's bright green color.
3.     Velouté Sauce — Over low heat in saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth and cook 3 to 5 minutes to develop flavor. Remove from heat and add stock or broth; return to medium heat and stir constantly until sauce is smooth and thickened. (Thickened sauce should coat a spoon. Run your finger down the back of the spoon – a clean line should form and hold,) Then add ¼ tsp. salt and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes to improve flavor; add black pepper, dry mustard, cayenne and ½ cup Cheddar cheese. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed. Pour sauce over vegetables. 
Start the sauce by melting the butter over low heat.
For additional explanations, see our béchamel link.  
4.     Topping — Place panko in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil (just enough to lightly coat bread crumbs – they need this in order to brown). Distribute over vegetables and then sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese.
5.     Baking — Bake, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

Make Ahead – Prepare recipe through step 4; refrigerate. About 20 to 30 minutes before ready to bake, remove dish from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature; bake as directed in step 5.
VGR Challenge Badge

PLEASE CONSIDER THIS YOUR OFFICIAL INVITATION to enter the challenge or if you’d prefer, just follow the progress at Very Good Recipes . . . and find out how people around the world are going green!

The other judges for the contest include:
           Angie from Big Bear's Wife
           Antonella from Sapori in Concerto
           Colette from Cakes, Bakes and other Bits
           Dima from Dima's Kitchen
           Drina from Eaternal Zest
           Marta from Princess Misia Recipes
           Maslinka from Ja u kuhinji
           Pauline from Poppy Cooking
           Stefania from Big Shade

Challenge runs from Friday March 9, 2012 until Sunday April 1, 2012.

Contest Rules as posted on Very Good Recipes:
·      There must be at least one picture in your recipe, and both the recipe and picture need to be your own. If your recipe is inspired by another, please mention it in your recipe.
·      You cannot use an already published recipe to participate in the challenge, you need to publish a new recipe (otherwise there's no challenge!)
·      We would love to have participations from all around the world, including from blogs in languages other than English. Please do include an English translation of your recipe in your post though. :-) If you need help with the translation (proofreading etc.), we will be glad to help if we can.
·      You can participate with only one recipe.

For Additional Contest Information — go to Very Good Recipes of Saint-Patrick Challenge   


  1. Yum, Delicious! This a fabulous side to oven roasted whole chocken :) enjoyed reading your post.

  2. This looks like a really comforting dish, and really tasty too :)