Cruciferous veggies rock this time of year! They are crunchy, full of fiber and bright tastes. For instance, there’s broccoli with it earthy green flavor, or cauliflower that soaks up whatever it is cooked in combination with. This recipe is an easy way to use those cruciferous gems, perfect for the almost-spring chilly season of March.

We use a pinch of cayenne to “point up” the other flavors in the individual gratins. A little spice “lifts” the other flavors in the gratins. Cayenne has many health benefits. They include helping with digestion, providing detox support, relieving joint and nerve pain, supporting weight loss by boosting ones metabolism.

Individual Broccoli and Cheddar Gratins 

  • 4 Cups Broccoli Florets, Chopped Coarsely
  • 4 Cups Cauliflower Florets, Chopped Coarsely
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil, Divided
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Grated
  • Pinch of Cayenne
  • 8 Oz Sharp Cheddar cheese, Coarsely Shredded
  • ¼ Cup Pitted Oil Cured Black Olives or Kalamata), Coarsely Chopped
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Panko
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

Step One

Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat 6 ramekins with non-stick spray.

Step Two

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil, add the broccoli and cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Step Three

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cayenne and cook just until fragrant. Remove from the heat, add the broccoli and cauliflower and stir. Toss half of the cheese and the olives with the vegetables.

Step Four

Transfer to the ramekins and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  In a small bowl, toss the crumbs with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the crumbs over the cheese. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 6 -8 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the crumbs are golden. Serve hot.


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