Attack of the Vegetables!

Starting Monday night, Fine Living Network will be showing Iron Chef “Attack of the Vegetables” week. All vegetable. All week. It’s even the Japanese Iron Chef version. I’m guilty of liking Iron Chef โ€” even the American version. It’s the only TV I watch once in a while. My favorite episodes are always the ones that feature vegetables as the secret ingredient, part of my long held belief that if you don’t like a vegetable, you probably just haven’t had it cooked right!

Here at Eat Drink Better, we’re going to be hosting our own “EDB Attack of the Vegetables!” Look for interesting vegetable recipes all week from each of our authors.

So, if you secretly fear the broccoli floret, well, time to get over it starting with tonight’s episode, Battle Broccoli. Conveniently, broccoli is in season for our cool fall weather. Allez Cuisine!

Click the link for my own favorite broccoli recipe. This is the one my three-year-old will eat a few helpings of in a sitting.

Broccoli, Chard and Leek Gratin
1 medium head of broccoli, florets only
1 bunch of chard, cleaned, stem removed and chopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, washed well and chopped
1/4 cup chopped shallot
1 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. butter
2 tbs. flour
1/4 cup cream
1-3/4 cup 2 percent milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup grated Grana Padano cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Steam the broccoli until tender crisp, about 10 minutes. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large pan, saute the leek and shallot for a few minutes until just starting to turn golden. Add the chard and saute until just wilted. Mix with the broccoli in a roasting pan.

Make the bechamel. Start by melting the butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk until it begins to turn golden and smells “nutty” and no longer like raw flour. Add the cream and milk slowly, whisking as you go to keep it smooth. Add the nutmeg. Whisk over low heat until it thickens. Add the Grana Padano cheese and whisk until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce evenly over the broccoli mixture. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until the top turns golden and it is heated through. You can also do this with cauliflower.

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