The Ultimate Easy-To-Make Side Dish

Photo: Courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking.
We all know that broccoli casserole is basically the most comforting side dish of all time, right? The problem with the popular dish is that it's often laden with butter and salt. I've decided to put my California-girl spin on the traditional side dish. What that essentially means is that I'm subbing broccolini for the broccoli and lightening it all up just a touch. I promise that no flavor is sacrificed. It’s one of those recipes that’s always in my back pocket, so I can whip it out at a moment's notice for a potluck or impromptu dinner get-together at my place.

Photo: Courtesy of What's Gaby Cooking.
2 pounds broccolini
2 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese  

1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler.  

2. Trim the bottom inch off of the broccolini. Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the broccolini to the pot, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the broccolini to a paper towel-lined baking dish and set aside. Reserve 1 cup of the broccolini water and drain the rest. 

3. In the same pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broccolini water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and, whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan and the Provolone until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.  

4. Transfer the broccolini to a baking dish and drizzle sauce over the center of the stalks. Top with the remaining Parmesan. Transfer the baking dish into the oven and broil until cheese is golden and broccolini is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately. 

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