Should anyone ask me about my favorite holiday dish, I would declare it [like the Ricola man on the mountain] to be broccoli casserole. Comfort food at its finest. If you were raised in the South, you’re sure to remember this casserole being a regular at any social event. From Sunday fellowship to hand delivered bereavement committee dinners, I have been baking this dish since I learned how to crack eggs and assemble ingredients for oven lovin’.
I was handed down a mouthwatering broccoli casserole recipe from my Grams’ bestie, Mrs. Polly Walker, via a coffee stained handwritten card (love) given to me at one of our regular Waffle House meet ups. [Memories] That being said … I’ve previously mentioned, as much as I adore all things Southern comfort, I’m constantly searching for ways to improvise ingredients by cutting some of the excessive calories, while still keeping all those Southern tastes. I mean, you should be able to actually see the broccoli in broccoli casserole, so there’s definitely room for ingredient reduction. Here’s what I came up with …
2 bags of frozen broccoli
1/2 cup vegenaise (a substitute for mayonnaise)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 handfuls of herbs & spices blend bread crumbs (bag can be found at any local grocery store)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thaw your bags of broccoli in the microwave until softened. In a 9×13 pan (sprayed with oil), lightly beat two eggs and combine the broccoli, vegenaise, and cream of mushroom soup together. Mix and spread evenly across the dish. Cover with a layer of cheddar cheese. In a separate bowl, melt the butter and toss the breadcrumbs in until evenly covered. Then, distribute the bread crumbs overtop the dish. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until browned and the sides are bubbling. Your dish should come out looking something like this …
Dig … in …
This is another great dish to serve immediately or freeze and use throughout the week. Plus, as a “leftover”, it just gets better and better. Those flavors marry and boast a delightful blend of flavors that sing and curtsy all those charming Southern feels. Enjoy!