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.
I've been making this delicious side dish ever since it first appeared in Sunset Magazine's Thanksgiving issue in 2008. The first time I made it my family raved and it instantly became a classic and a standard on my Thanksgiving menu. We've even have it for our Christmas dinner. It's that good.
This dish has become a family favorite on our Thanksgiving table for the last 4 years!! Definitely a crowd pleaser for 30+ people who have become accustom to the same traditional meal year after year. Looking forward to serving it again next week!!
I served this at our dinner party for 50. It was very popular and plenty of folks went back for seconds and thirds. Personally, I'd only give 4 stars because I found the sauce simply too much and that the dish needed more seasoning, but 50 people loved it, so I'll give it 5 stars.