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Broccoli Gratin

Serves 6 to 8

This recipe for broccoli gratin is easy and delicious. I particularly like the relatively small ratio of cheese sauce to broccoli because I want the vegetable to be the star. The flavor of an extra sharp cheese, such as Vermont white cheddar, goes a long way using less. However, you can use any sharp cheese you prefer.

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 350° F. To prepare broccoli, wash, trim off tough stems, cut remaining stems into 1/2-inch slices and tops into florets. Cook in lightly salted water until tender. (Alternately, broccoli can be steamed in the microwave.) Drain thoroughly and arrange in a lightly buttered 13x9x2-inch baking dish.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the bread cubes; mix well and reserve for later. Reduce the heat to low and add the flour to the remaining butter in the saucepan; stir until well blended. Add the milk and cook, stirring until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and pepper until smooth. Pour the sauce over the broccoli and arrange the buttered bread cubes on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.