Creamed spinach from Boston Market is quite possibly one of my favorite things in the world. The key is to mix it with the corn, mashed potatoes, and gravy sides to create the über side dish. Anyone else do that? Anyway, I had a craving for creamed spinach, but sadly there is no Boston Market near me. When I came across this Creamed Broccoli with Parmesan from the March issue of Gourmet, I figured I'd give it a try and perhaps it would satisfy my creamed spinach craving.
Boy, was I wrong. This should really be called mashed broccoli, because the broccoli isn't smooth, but coarsely mashed. Apparently, you're also supposed to be able to mash the cooked broccoli with a potato masher, but that was not going to happen anytime this century. After a couple of futile mashes, I resorted to using a blender and that was fine. I also substituted some milk for the 1 cup of heavy cream that the recipe originally called for. I like to save most of my daily heavy cream allotment for whipped cream. The result tasted great, but I would advise against using only milk as I think it wouldn't taste creamy enough. I also doubled the amount of parmesan cheese since a scanty 3 tablespoons didn't seem like nearly enough. So, I didn't fulfill my creamed spinach dreams, but this was a solid side dish I would make again.
- 1 bunch broccoli
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup 2 percent milk
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Peel broccoli stems, then coarsely chop stems and florets. Cook broccoli in boiling salted water (1 1/2 teaspoon salt for 4 quarts water) until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking.
Simmer cream, milk, garlic, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan, uncovered, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes.
Add broccoli and simmer for a couple of minutes. Using an immersion or regular blender, process the broccoli mixture until coarsely mashed. If using a regular blender, fill the blender only 1/2 full and make sure the cover is secure before processing in order to prevent broccoli burn. Return coarsely mashed broccoli to pan and stir in Parmesan. Simmer further if broccoli mixture is not thick enough.