Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole
From Cook's Country
Instead of canned soup, we used half-and-half cut with a bit of chicken broth in our Cheesy Broccoli and Rice Casserole. We also added extra-sharp cheddar and nutty Parmesan cheese. To maximize the broccoli flavor, we used both the stalks and the florets. Since the stalks took longer to cook than florets, we sautéed chopped stalks in butter with onion, then added the rice and liquids. At first the starch released from the rice overthickened the sauce, but when we eliminated flour we found the natural starch from the rice was enough. Wanting something fresher and more substantial as a topping than just cheese or canned fried onions, we made garlicky fresh bread crumbs enriched with Parmesan. This topping baked up brown and crisp, and added a final layer of flavor and texture.
Serves 8 to 10
Three to four medium heads of broccoli will yield roughly 2 pounds.
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