When I was growing up, one of my favorite side dishes was broccoli covered in cheese. We’d put the broccoli in the oven with a little bit of butter, bake it through, then right before we pulled the dish out and called it complete, top it with some cheddar cheese. The goal was for the cheese to melt down and very nearly burn, then the broccoli would come out of the oven and be consumed immediately with whatever else we were eating.
And it was always delicious.
I haven’t had that dish in years, though I have whipped several a “fancier” cheese sauces throughout my 20′s to make similar renditions of a childhood favorite.
So when I was brainstorming about dishes to bring to a Christmas Potluck, I thought it would be fun to present y’all a dish similar to that one from my childhood because I have such fond memories of it. And this Parmesan and Pine Nut Broccoli fits the bill. The cheese melts over the broccoli as it cooks, crisping and adding flavor, and the pine nuts add a certain je ne sais quoi to the already delightful dish.
Bonus points for a Christmas Potluck: This broccoli doesn’t require much prep time, and the cook time is minimal, so it’d be a great dish to bring to a potluck and cook there or something to add to the oven last minute at your own house because it is not fussy in the least.
Here’s how you can make it:
- 1 lb. broccoli, chopped and stemmed
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons parmesan, freshly grated
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- In a baking dish, season the chopped broccoli with salt and pepper and add the water. (The more spread out your broccoli is, the faster it will cook, so keep this in mind when choosing your dish. Also, the dish determines how much of the broccoli is coated with the pine nuts and parmesan.)
- Top with the pine nuts and parmesan.
- Bake for 10 minutes (or until the topping is browned and crispy.)
- Enjoy warm!
What was your favorite childhood dish? Do you still make it to this day?