Roasted Broccoli and Homemade Cheese Sauce

Growing up, I hated broccoli.  I also hated pretty much most veggies except carrots, celery, and peas.  Of all the veggies I hated, broccoli was the king; the top of the hit list; the persona non grata of greenness.

Well, I've grown up a bit, I've matured, and I've realized my parents served a veggie hating kid vegetables in the worst possible ways.  We had things steamed, or even worse, frozen vegetables that were then microwaved.  Thank god our family dog liked vegetables, because that made life bearable for me.

Had my parents simply built a time machine and were able to see in to the future that some day their daughter would love vegetables roasted in a cast iron skillet, why I think life might have been easier for everyone. 

The good news is, you don't need a time machine.  You have this knowledge now.  Hopefully, you also have a cast iron skillet.

Roasted Broccoli and Homemade Cheese Sauce
For the broccoli
1 head of broccoli, organic if you can find it and afford it
1 sliver of butter.  The real stuff.  If you want to use margarine, please stop reading my blog.
1/2 tsp olive oil

For the cheese sauce
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp flour
1 cup, plus 2 tblsp whole milk
1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) Preheat your cast iron skillet on the stove over medium heat.  Once the skillet is hot to the touch, add the sliver of butter and let it melt completely.

2) Add the broccoli, olive oil, and salt (to taste).  Stir to combine, and place in the oven on the top rack with the broiler on high.  Set the timer for 5 minutes.

3) Meanwhile, put a medium saucepan on the hot burner, and melt 2 tblsp of butter until small bubbles appear.  Add the flour, and whisk quickly to incorporate.  Stir constantly, while letting the butter and flour brown until it becomes a light caramel color.  I love this whisk for making sauces and yogurt.

4) Add the tiniest bit of milk, and whisk quickly to combine.  Once the milk is fully incorporated, add the rest of the milk slowly, whisking the whole time.

5) Add the shredded cheese to the pot, and stir to combine.  Once the cheese has melted, remove the pan from heat, and continue stirring.

6) By this time, the oven timer should be about ready to go off.  Stir the broccoli, and set the timer for another 5 minutes.

7) When the broccoli is nice and crispy, remove from the oven.  Plate it, and drizzle with cheese sauce.

I can't go back and change the childhood battles I had over eating "little trees", but I can save you the hassle.  PS, your kids might "pin" this recipe on your board "things my kids my like".
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