My sister makes a mean veggie bake; the first time I tasted it, I was in foodie heaven.
I haven’t made a lot of vegetable bakes. I think it is the fear of not achieving the same taste as my sister’s version that holds me back. However, I decided to brave it and make a bake to get rid of the inhibition.
Boy! Was I pleased? I used safe flavour combinations to avoid disappointments. Cauliflower and broccoli paired with cheese is one of those matches made in heaven; you couldn’t go wrong even if you tried! This broccoli and cauliflower bake has non-complicated flavours, is simple to make, super delicious and family-friendly.
I wish I could share this bake with my sister to get her tick of approval. I am sure she will be proud of me.
As a bonus, broccoli and cauliflower bake is very healthy. Mop this cheesy bake with breads, eat this just like that or serve it with your main meals. Whatever way you choose to consume this, the broccoli and cauliflower bake will be a delightful meal.
There is no cornflour or other thickeners in the sauce, making it ideal for those watching their carb intake and calories. It is easy on the tummy and I promise even the fussiest kid who hates broccoli will become a convert.
Pre heat the oven.
Blanch cauliflower and broccoli florets in water or steam them in a microwave for about 90 seconds.
If you like your vegetables crunchy, cook for a short time. Allow it to cook longer, if you prefer the florets soft and mashable. I like cauliflower and broccoli with a little crunch so I blanched it.
Drain the excess water from the vegetables. Keep aside.
Chop the spring onions into medium-sized dices after trimming the ends. Reserve some of the white and green parts for later.
Chop the garlic cloves finely.
In a saucepan or pot, add the milk, some chopped spring onions with the green bits and garlic. This will render an intense flavour to the milk.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the flame to medium-low and add ½ cup of the cheese to the milk mixture.
Keep stirring the milk and cheese mixture continuously.
The cheese would melt and thicken the milk’s consistency. Allow the milk to thicken and reduce for another 2 minutes. Remember to keep stirring the milk to avoid burning and curdling.
Once it has reduced to a desired consistency, remove the pot from the flame and keep aside. If you like the mixture really thick, keep it on the flame for longer.
Once you have removed the milk from the stove, add some salt and pepper. Give it a mix.
In a baking dish, arrange the blanched/steamed cauliflower and broccoli florets in a single layer.
Top it is with a small layer of chopped spring onions
Sprinkle some cheese on top of the vegetables.
Pour the milk and cheese mixture evenly on top of. Ensure all the florets are covered in the cheesy milk mixture.
Finally, sprinkle remaining cheese. Add a dash of pepper.
Sprinkle some chilli flakes on top.
Bake it in the oven at 180*c for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melty and golden.
Carefully remove the dish from the oven.
Serve with dinner rolls or crusty bread.
- I used equal quantities of cauliflower and broccoli. You could adjust the ratio based on your preference.
- I used low-fat cheese and low-fat milk. You could use the full fat versions.
- Add or reduce quantity of milk based on how thick you’d like the sauce. I like it on the thicker side. If you like it more saucy, add more milk.
- Adjust spice levels according to your preference.
- I used cheddar, you could use your favourite melting cheese varieties or a blend of cheeses. My favourite cheese blend is cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella and Monterey jack.
- You could include other vegetables to make it more wholesome.
- Adding fresh or dried herbs give it a good flavour too.
- You could use leeks or onions in place of spring onions.
- If you do not have an oven, follow the same procedure for the milk mix and pour it into a saucepan over cauliflowers. Layer it with cheese. Cover the pan and cook on slow flame till the cheese has melted.