Is it too soon for another broccoli and cheese recipe? Okay, good. Because you might want to include this Broccoli and Fontina Gratin on your Thanksgiving table. And if your menu’s already full, make a note to come back to this one when you want a special side dish that will wow your family and guests. (If you use Yummly to save your recipes, note that I’ve added a Yum button at the end of every food post.)
I’ve been making a version of this dish for at least 15 years, sometimes on Thanksgiving, and it’s always very popular. Except now, it’s even better. (I ate three servings the other day and called it dinner.)
The original recipe used Swiss cheese for a classic Mornay sauce. I was all set to make it that way with tweaks to share with you, but like a stunad, I forgot to buy Swiss during my grocery trip. I considered going back, but was just too lazy. (I’m still recovering from my work trip to Yellowstone and Montana.) I did purchase Fontina, however, which got me experimenting and forever changed how I will prepare this dish.
So, let me describe this Broccoli and Fontina Gratin to you. I briefly boil the broccoli until it is just tender. I make a cheese sauce with butter, tender onions, chopped garlic, flour, 2% milk, Fontina and seasonings. There’s no need for whole milk or cream here, since the sauce is thick and creamy enough, and the Fontina melts beautifully. And I don’t use nutmeg as called for in many cream sauces. I’m not a fan of it in savory dishes, preferring to save it for my zucchini bread and desserts. (I’m sure that’s some kind of culinary faux pas, but I’m just going to own it.)
Anyway, I layer my baking dish with some cheese sauce, the broccoli and the rest of the sauce. Then I sprinkle on bread crumbs mixed with Parmesan, and drizzle the whole thing with melted butter. Oh, yes, my friends. I bake it in the oven and serve it with some red pepper flakes for anyone, like me, who likes a little heat.
You need this Broccoli and Fontina Gratin in your life. Enjoy!
(Recipe Source: Inspired by a recipe for Broccoli with Mornay Sauce from Great American Recipes, 1988)