Perfect veggies to roast together because they cook at the same rate and broccoli’s grassy, earthy and slight bitterness complements cauliflower’s sweet nutty flavor.
The same vegetable, however, they are not. For whatever reason, these two vegetables are often confused for one another, even though they are strikingly different in many ways.
Broccoli is green, except when it’s purple and its cauliflower. Cauliflower is usually white, except when it’s orange or green, and looks like broccoli, or when it’s purple, and it actually is broccoli.
The word ‘broccoli’ is derived from Italian and means, ‘flowering crest of a cabbage.’ The word ‘cauliflower,’ on the other hand, comes from Latin, and means, ‘the flowers of a cabbage’.
This is such a nice fall side dish. Broccoli and cauliflower coated with a rich, creamy, cheesy sauce, covered with Panko breadcrumbs, baked to perfection and garnished with bacon. How good is that!
White Cheddar Broccoli/Cauliflower Gratin
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook florets until tender-firm, about 5-6 minutes. Drain well.
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in onions & sauté until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add in garlic & sauté 20 seconds longer. Add in flour & cook whisking constantly, 1 1/2 minutes.
While whisking, slowly pour in milk & add nutmeg. Whisk constantly until mixture reaches a boil, then remove from heat & stir in 1 1/4 cups cheddar cheese & the parmesan. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Pour & spread 1/3 of the cheese sauce into a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Top with drained broccoli/cauliflower combo then slowly & evenly pour remaining 2/3 of the cheese sauce over top.
Sprinkle over remaining 1/4 cup white cheddar then sprinkle evenly with panko crumbs. Spray panko with olive oil cooking spray to lightly coat.
Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 1-2 minutes to help brown further as needed. Remove from oven, sprinkle with bacon & parsley & serve warm.