Mention the word broccoli, and children everywhere are bound to pucker their faces in response.
Temper the mention of that green veggie with the addition of garlic and cheese, and things start looking significantly less bleak.
Whether you’re a veggie enthusiast or someone who’s just trying to choke down enough of the stuff to keep your doctor appeased, cheesy garlic broccoli is bound to make mealtimes more enjoyable for you.
Match Made in Heaven
Given its massive health benefits, it should come as no surprise that broccoli has been eaten at least since the Roman empire. It was actually engineered much earlier, by an ancient Tuscan civilization who created it out of cabbage.
Despite success in Europe for centuries, broccoli didn’t catch on as a commercially popular vegetable in the United States for some time. There are records of Thomas Jefferson attempting to cultivate it, but without much success. This all changed when Italian immigrants began carrying broccoli over in the 1920s.
Perhaps it was because Americans lacked the practical knowledge of how to best cook broccoli that it took a while to catch on, and this may also be the reason that “hating broccoli” is such a cultural trope. Once people in the U.S. figured out how to pair the leafy, stalky veggie with cheese, though, consumption went through the roof and has never been higher.
Health Meets Indulgence
The idea of pairing broccoli, something so rich in micronutrients, with cheese, something not generally considered a health conscious food, might horrify health buffs. Illogical as it might seem, broccoli and cheese complement each other so perfectly that it’s hard to shy away from the combination.
Plus, life is all about balance, so if it takes some cheese (and garlic to boot) in order for you to get your regular dose of broccoli, don’t feel too bad. There are countless ways you can prepare broccoli, cheese, and garlic together, but one of the best just keeps it simple in a cheesy garlic broccoli combination.
Making The Dish
As the name implies, you only need three ingredients to make cheesy garlic broccoli: cheese, garlic, and broccoli. Of course, a little bit of salt and pepper can go a long way as well, but that’s all about personal preference.
Once you’ve got your ingredients together, preparation is a breeze:
- Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees.
- Chop three crowns of broccoli and spread them in your casserole dish.
- Mix the cheese and garlic together separately, then sprinkle the combination over the broccoli.
- Add any salt and pepper, then cook for 25 minutes.
Once the time is up, your cheese should be nice and melted, and your garlic should have a palatable, soft texture. Let the dish cool briefly if you wish, then dole it out and enjoy.
Adding Your Twist
While you don’t want to veer too far outside of this basic preparation method as you’ll leave the territory of the classic dish, some ways you could make cheesy garlic broccoli your own is with creative versions of the classic ingredients.
If you prefer broccolini, for example, you could substitute it for the larger crowns. Though cheddar cheese is standard, you could opt for parmesan for a different effect. Seasonings are also open to interpretation, so you could add a little kick with red pepper flakes, or take things in a more exotic direction with ginger.
Everyone does their best to be healthy, but if you have an easier time enjoying vegetables when they’re coupled with a little something extra, then cheesy garlic broccoli may be just what you’re looking for.