This evening I harvested the first of the broccoli from the garden! The heads had shaped up beautifully, and I was eager to taste our homegrown broccoli. There’s truly no comparable taste, as broccoli is best freshly harvested, and this was as fresh as it gets: I cut the broccoli less than half an hour before I served dinner.
To utilize the first of the season’s broccoli, I made one of our favorite “repeat” recipes: Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Quinoa Casserole, which I found a while back while browsing Pinterest with very specific ingredients in mind. I love this dish because it is flavorful, nutritious, and requires ingredients I almost always have on hand. (I always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer!)
I have to admit that I don’t follow the recipe to the letter. (Actually, I pretty much never follow any recipe to the letter …so there’s that). We don’t have gluten issues in our house, so I opted for regular, organic, unbleached flour to thicken the sauce. I only had aged, sharp, organic cheddar on hand, so I used all cheddar and no Monterey Jack. My final alteration was to sprinkle a bit of panko on top of the dish, along with the cheese, before baking. I like the added crunch it gives to the topping.
I served the main dish alongside a mixed greens salad with poppyseed dressing and some homemade hummus that I whipped up in the last minutes before dinner. Fresh strawberries rounded out the meal. I’d like to say this was a crowd-pleaser, but Miss Thistle remains a bit skeptical. At least the strawberries were a hit in her book! For the record, Mr. Thistle loved it, as did I.
Speaking of strawberries, check out these beauties from our own garden! Strawberry plants line our front walk, and we gathered these lovely berries this evening as well. We are competing with a catbird for the harvest (he shows up yearly for his share , it seems) but we are glad to have our own berries, nonetheless.
What’s cooking at your house? Have you enjoyed any fresh, local (or even homegrown) produce recently?