Purple sprouting broccoli gratin
- March 2013
- Serves 6
- Takes 20 minutes to make, 5-6 minutes to cook, plus infusing
This purple sprouting gratin is a wonderful side dish to serve alongside your roast chicken or beef.
Like eating seasonally? See what else is good to eat in February in the UK.
- 23g (14.1g saturated)
- 12.9g (7.7g sugars)
- 800g purple sprouting broccoli (prepared weight)
- 600ml whole milk
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 large piece of mace
- 8 cracked black peppercorns
- 50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 40g plain flour
- 5 tbsp double cream
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 50g finely grated mature cheddar
- Halve the stems of sprouting broccoli and peel the lower halves if thick and tough. Put the milk, onion, bay leaves, mace and peppercorns into a small pan, bring slowly to the boil, then set aside off the heat for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
- Bring the infused milk back to the boil, then strain it into a jug (discard the flavourings). Melt the butter in a medium pan, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually beat in the hot milk. Return to the boil, stirring, then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Stir in the cream, nutmeg and some salt and white pepper to taste. Keep warm over a very low heat, continuing to stir the mixture now and then so a skin doesn’t form.
- Preheat the grill to high. Put the broccoli in a steamer (or colander/sieve) set over a pan of boiling water, sprinkle with salt, cover and steam until just tender (freshly picked will take no more than 3 minutes, shop-bought may take 5-6 minutes). Drain the broccoli, wait for the steam to die down, then lay over the base of a large, lightly buttered, shallow ovenproof dish. Pour over the warm sauce, then sprinkle with the grated cheddar. Grill for 4-5 minutes or until the top is golden in places and bubbling.
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