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Farm Fresh: Cheesy broccoli casserole hits the spot

Thursday, November 08, 2001

By Betsy Kline, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

On the fence about broccoli? You know it's good for you but you can't quite bring yourself to chomp down on those unadorned, green cruciferous stalks?

Maybe all you need is to doctor it up a bit as a cheesy hot casserole, i.e., today's Broccoli White Cheddar Pie. Condensed cream of celery soup serves as the sauce, enveloping crunchy bits of broccoli with a meltingly good buttery bread crumb crust.

Because this casserole is very rich on its own merits (that's a lot of cheese), consider serving it with plain roasted poultry or grilled meats. And listen to the compliments roll. It reheats well, too.

Broccoli White Cheddar Pie

2 tablespoons butter
1 cupped chopped onion
4 cups broccoli florets (smaller florets cook more quickly)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
2 cups grated sharp white Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1 1/2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch saute pan over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring, until softened but not browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover the saute pan and cook the broccoli until it is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Let cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, soup and cheese. Stir in the broccoli mixture. Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared casserole dish.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs and melted butter and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top of the casserole. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden brown, about 35 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

"The Soup Mix Gourmet" by Diane Phillips

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