We got broccoli in our CSA this week and I thought the best way to serve it would be in a gooey cheese sauce atop crunchy bread. I mean, is there a better way??
For those of you wondering what a CSA is…
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically the premise is that you buy a share of a farm before the season starts and then every week throughout the whole growing season you receive a mixed bounty of produce. It’s like Christmas opening your basket of fruits and veggies each week! This helps the farm manage the logistics of growing by ensuring that their expenses are paid for in advance in case unforeseen problems arise with their crops. Sometimes you expect to get carrots in your basket, but those crops twiddled out in the elements, so you get swiss chard instead. The produce is typically sustainably grown, use little to no chemicals, and are grown right down the street. It’s a lovely feeling to know your farmers. Or to say that you personally “have” farmers. 🙂 Not to mention that it forces you to try out some very interesting produce like kohlrabi and pea shoots. To learn more and find a CSA farm in your area, check this out!
These little guys are great as an open faced dinner sandwich, or an appetizer, even an after-school snack.
Get down with your bad self and make some cheesy broccoli toasts!
- 3 cups steamed Broccoli, still slightly crisp
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Milk or unsweetened alternative
- 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese*
- 1/4 cup shredded Accent Cheese, such as Smoked Gouda or Pepper Jack**
- Crostini Bread Slices***
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, sprinkle flour on top and stir together. Cook this mixture for a minute or two, stirring.
- Pour in milk and whisk together until completely smooth; let cook for 4-5 minutes until the mixture starts thickening.
- Stir in cheese and cook until mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste to see if any additional salt is needed, this depends on the type of cheese you use. Sprinkle a bit of salt if necessary. Turn off heat and set aside with the lid on.
- Brush bread slices with a little bit of olive oil and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the bread toasts up to a golden brown.
- Stir the cooked broccoli into the cheese mixture and spoon onto the hot toasts. Sprinkle with a bit of extra shredded cheese, red pepper flake, or cracked black pepper. Serve immediately.
- If making in advance, keep ingredients separate until right before service. Store cheese sauce and broccoli in the refrigerator and keep bread untoasted. Heat up the cheese sauce and broccoli; and freshly toast your breads right before serving.
- If cheese sauce becomes too thick, add a few Tablespoons of milk to thin it out.
- *Shredding or cutting your cheese from a block rather than using pre-shredded is a better choice here. Pre-shredded cheese has a coating that prevents it from sticking together which could affect your cheese sauce.
- **Make sure that your accent cheese is a meltable style of cheese. You could use a smoked cheese, pepper cheese, American, herbed cheese, or any other flavored cheese of your choice. If all you have is cheddar though, you could just use that!
- ***Types of breads that work well for crostini include: French baguette, Italian white loaf, ciabatta, or sourdough. Really any bread that has that great long, skinny shape will work great. You could even go wild with pumpernickel or a multi-grain baguette. Check out the bakery section of your grocer or try out a bakery in your area.