Broccoli-Blue Cheese Mash

We consume a lot of broccoli in our household, but eating plain steamed broccoli just doesn’t do it for me. I need more flavor, more punch in my veggies. With this recipe, the sharp flavor of blue cheese pairs very well with the broccoli, and mixed together as they are, yield an almost mashed potato-like texture. I’ve tested this one out on folks who say they don’t like blue cheese, and they still like this side dish. See “How Not To Screw it Up” below for tips to appease the blue cheese averse.

The portions here make enough mash to serve 4 people.

Ingredients

  • 2 large crowns of broccoli
  • 1/4 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 3 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • kosher salt

Directions

  1. Cut up the broccoli to remove the flowery crowns from the stems and slice the stems into 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. In a medium pan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the stems, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover, add the water, and bring to boil.
  4. When the water starts to boil, add the crowns. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring the crowns often. This will cook the crowns to a very vibrant green, but keep them somewhat crunchy and not overcooked and mushy.
  5. Place the broccoli in a food processor, and mix for 1 minute.
  6. In a mixing bowl, place the blue cheese and a large pinch of kosher salt. Add the broccoli to the top and fold them together. The result, is a “mash” that blends the broccoli and the blue cheese. Serve as a side dish in place of potatoes or rice.

How Not To Screw It Up

  1. You want a good mix of broccoli stems to crowns. The crowns have more fiber and help to give more structure (and less crumble) to the final product.
  2. It’s important that you cook the stems for 10 minutes in the pan before adding the crowns. The stems take longer to cook, and giving them 10 more minutes of saute time makes them very soft.
  3. There is more nutrition in this dish, I believe. For one thing, we make it as a substitute for a starch (e.g. white potato or rice) and end up with two vegetable sides. Secondly, there is a lot of nutrition in the stems of broccoli, and this recipe uses a lot more stem than most people do when they make broccoli.
  4. To determine the amount of broccoli you need, I usually assume that I need 1/2 the broccoli than I would ordinarily serve to a given amount of people. For example, if 2 broccoli crowns would–when serving broccoli by itself–serve 2 people, it will serve 4 with this recipe.
  5. You can adjust the amount of blue cheese to suite your taste. If you are blue cheese averse, add less. If you are blue cheese junkie, you can add more.