Cheesy Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Bread Crumbs

Cheesy Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Breadcrumbs

I’ll do anything for vegetables, but I won’t do that.

That’s how I feel when I see veggies that have been completely drowned in cream or béchamel. I like cream and béchamel, but I don’t like drowning. So though gratins and casseroles always sound good in theory, when I go to make them, I never fail to change my mind. I’ll save my half and half for the morning’s coffee, thanks.

Here is the main argument for why I am probably wrong.

Melting a little bit of cheese on top of a veggie meal feels quite restrained, by contrast.

In this dish, which plays off my love for crunchy bread accoutrements and reusing stale slices, you roast broccoli florets until they are delicious, then make them more delicious still by sprinkling nutty, aged Roth Grand Cru on top. As the cheese (which comes from Wisconsin and tastes like it’s imported from the Alps) oozes into the florets, it simultaneously fastens butter-crisped bread crumbs to the vegetables, in another gratin-like move.

Though I’d tell you that the resulting cheesy, crispy thing is a side dish, I also have to admit that I eat it for lunch. After all, I’m always looking for vegetable-based dishes that yet have some protein and some carbohydrate-fueled staying power, and so this might not look like something you’re going to eat in the middle of the day next to a steak, if you eliminate the steak, I actually believe you’ll find this works really well. If you need more, crack an egg on top.

This post is sponsored by Roth Cheese, an alpine-style cheese crafted in Wisconsin. All opinions, as usual, are mine. Thanks for supporting BGSK’s sponsors!


Cheesy Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Bread Crumbs
Serves 2 to 4 as a side

Want a shortcut? Use panko instead of homemade bread crumbs and skip the crisping-in-butter step.

1 large head broccoli, washed
Olive oil
2 ounces aged alpine-style cheese like Roth Grand Cru Reserve
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cups fresh bread crumbs (put a few slices of bread in the blender to make)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Trim a few inches off the bottom of the stalk of broccoli, then cut the stem and florets into bite-sized pieces. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil (don’t overdo it, this is one of three fatty things you’ll be adding!) Sprinkle with salt. Roast the broccoli for 25 to 30 minutes, until crisp at the edges and tender inside.

While the broccoli is roasting, grate the cheese. Set it aside. Then set a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter. When it’s melted, add the bread crumbs, and cook, stirring often, until the bread crumbs are crispy. Salt them.

When the broccoli is ready, pull the pan from the oven. Use a spatula to cluster the pieces together. Sprinkle evenly with the cheese and the bread crumbs, then return to the oven for another 2 minutes, just until the cheese melts and the bread crumbs stick to the cheese and broccoli.

  • heidi

    This looks exactly like the sort of thing I’d eat for lunch. Warm and gooey on a winter day and it’s a full serving of vegetables (and cheese)!

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I freaking love how simple this is! Dang…and super tasty too!

  • CakePants

    I’m always in the market for simple, tasty side dishes – can’t wait to try this!

  • Kate Ramos

    Yum! This looks so simple and good and something you could eat and not need to lay down on the couch for a good hour afterwards. Love it!

  • Whit @ Jewhungry

    There’s just nothing wrong with cheese, broccoli and bread crumbs. This looks divine!

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