Steam the broccoli for about 25 minutes. I do this the old way, using a simple steaming pot and i put a half cube of stock in the boiling water, it makes the steamed vegetables more tasteful. If you like your vegetables crispy, then make sure not to overcook them at this stage since they still have to go in the oven for a short while.
When the broccoli is ready, take them out of the steamer and let cool them down in an oven dish. This recipe is ideal as a side dish when you have guests, since you can prepare it and just shove it in the oven when you need to serve.
Pre heat the oven at 180°C.
Add some salt and pepper and cover the broccoli with slices of the cheese. I use the light cheese to have maximum taste with minimum calories. Of course you can experiment with even more tasteful and less calorie friendly regular cheeses like Cheddar or Gouda.
Put the dish into the oven for about 10-15 minutes. It is best to keep an eye on it, you want the broccoli warm, but the cheese still visible as a layer covering the broccoli. When you leave it all in the oven to long, the cheese will have melted completely and have sunk between the broccolis. It may taste the same; it is definitely not as good looking.
Important is to let the broccoli cool down before you add the cheese on top of it. If you put the cheese when the broccoli is still warm, it will be melted before you can put the broccoli into the oven.
This recipe developed out of the leanness of the fridge during one of my ‘poor’ weeks… the very odd week when I do make an effort to cut some calories.
Clean the witloof by removing the outside leafs and take out the heart at the bottom of the stumb. The heart of the witloof is what leaves a bitter taste. Steam the witloof until the stumbs are tender and let them leak out.
Melt the butter (don’t let it become brown) and add the flower while stirring with a whisk. Continue stirring until the flower is cooked a bit. Add 0.5 l milk and keep on stirring slowly until the sauce starts to boil. Flower and milk combinations have the tendency to burn on the bottom of the cooking pot, so don’t put the heat too high. When the sauce starts boiling, it thickens, now add more milk while stirring until you reach the preferred consistency. Add pepper, salt and lots of grated nutmeg. This sauce is also called a béchamel.
Remove the pot from the fire and melt the cheese into the sauce while stirring. Leave some cheese to cover the platter later.
Roll up each stump of witloof in a slice of cooked ham and arrange them nicely side by side in a baking dish. Poor the cheese sauce over the witloof and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
Put the dish in a preheated oven of 180°C. Cook it about half an hour until you start to see cooking bubbles rising from the bottom of the dish, and then grill it for about 10-15 minutes to crisp the top.
Serve with mashed potatoes.
This is one of our best kept secrets. We eat this with a drop of ketchup. Yes, ketchup! You’ll be surprised how the tastes of the mashed potatoes, the witlof, the ham and the cheese blends with the tomato taste.