Chef John Folse's Broccoli and Cauliflower Casserole


Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6 Servings

Broccoli and cauliflower were commonly found on the Creole tables of New Orleans. However, the Cajuns did not actually use these vegetables until the late 1950s when they became available in the stores and markets around the bayous.

1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
½ cup butter
¼ cup diced onions
¼ cup diced celery
¼ cup diced red bell peppers
¼ cup minced garlic
¼ cup diced tasso
½ cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup flour
3 cups heavy whipping cream
salt and white pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and boil in lightly salted water until tender but still firm. Do not overcook. Remove, cool under tap water and set aside. In a 1-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, celery, bell peppers, garlic, tasso and mushrooms 5–10 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly until white roux is achieved. (See roux recipes.) Do not brown. Pour in cream, whisking constantly to form white cream sauce. Do not scorch. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Place cooked broccoli and cauliflower in a baking dish and top with cream sauce. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Bake on center oven rack until casserole is bubbly and slightly brown on top. If desired, use grated Cheddar cheese in place of Parmesan for a milder taste.