Notes: Denise Marshall elevates classic broccoli in cheese sauce by using gorgonzola. You can prepare the casserole through step 3 up to 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Uncover and continue with step 4.
3 pounds broccoli
1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 packages (3 oz. each) cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes French or other firm white bread (3 oz.)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil. Rinse broccoli and trim off and discard tough stem ends; if skin on stalks is tough, peel stalks. Cut broccoli into 1-inch pieces. Add to boiling water and cook just until barely tender when pierced, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
Rinse and dry pan. Add 1/4 cup butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Stir in flour and salt until smoothly blended; cook until bubbly, about 1 minute. Add milk and stir over medium-high heat until mixture is boiling and thickened, about 3 minutes. Add cream cheese and gorgonzola; whisk until smoothly blended. Stir in broccoli. Pour into a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
In a blender or food processor, whirl bread cubes into coarse crumbs; you should have about 1 1/3 cups. In a small bowl, mix crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle evenly over broccoli mixture.
Bake until casserole is hot in the center and crumbs are golden, 20 to 30 minutes.