My purple sprouting broccoli is finally producing broccoli!! It seems like we have been waiting for it forever! Oh, I do love purple sprouting broccoli. Todd does too. It's really strange. He loves the purple stuff but hates regular broccoli. Wierd. Who can figure out men!
I've been trying to use it fresh in whatever way that I can. I never tire of it. Today I decided to make a tasty mac and cheese casserole with it, using potato gnocchi and a delicious homemade cheese sauce, flavoured with strong cheddar, parmesan and stilton.
We all know how wonderful broccoli tastes with a cheese sauce don't we? When my kids were growing up it was one of the only ways that I could get them to eat their broccoli! Slathered with melted cheese whiz. (Don't judge me!) (They also liked it raw with ranch dressing for dipping.)
The potato gnocchi get all puffed and tender . . . almost heavenly like marshmallows. The broccoli stays brilliant and crispy tender.
The lucious cheese sauce blankets them both lightly . . . richly . . . the crispy crumb topping adding an extra layer of taste and a moreish crunch.
All you need with this is a delicious salad on the side . . . oh and you may want some crusty bread to mop up all of that scrummy cheese sauce!
Simple, easy and delicious. What more could you ask for?
*Gnocchi Mac & Cheese with Purple Sprouting Broccoli*
This is rich and delicous. Soft little potato dumplings, crispy tender purple sprouting broccoli bathed in a lucious cheese sauce, topped with crispy cracker crumbs and baked until golden brown and bubbling.
16 ounces homemade gnocchi, or fresh gnocchi from the store
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 TBS plain flour
250ml of whole milk (1 cup)
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
1.5 ounces freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese (1/4 cup)
3 to 4 TBS crumbled Stilton cheese (optional)
salt and white pepper to taste
12 ounces purple sprouting broccoli, washed and trimmed, then steamed until
crispy tender and then chopped (about 2 cups)
2 TBS freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano Cheese
2 TBS grated strong cheddar cheese
2 TBS finely crushed cracker crumbs
Low fat cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 5. Butter a shallow glass baking dish. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring. Whisk the milk in along with the Dijon mustard. Cook, whisking constantly, over medium heat, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. whisk in the cheeses, stirring to melt completely. Whisk in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Cook the gnocchi in lightly salted boiling water as per the package directions. Scoop into the prepared baking dish and toss together with the broccoli. Pour the cheese sauce over top to cover. Mix together the topping ingredients and sprinkle over top. Spritz lightly with the low fat cooking spray.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the gnocchi are lightly puffed, the sauce is bubbling, and the top is golden brown. Let rest for several minutes before serving. Delicious!