Stalks-and-All Broccoli Breakfast Casserole
I’ve always had this nag about broccoli. It’s rare that you see a recipe that uses the whole thing: stalk and all. Most of the time you just use the florets.
By the way, this is true for many of my broccoli recipes also, so I’m throwing stones at myself or however that saying goes…
This is kind of screwy because: A) Broccoli stalks are mostly stalk. If you just use the florets you’re tossing like 60% of the food. B) The stalk is delicious! It has great flavor once you peel it.
Because you use the whole damn stalk, this broccoli breakfast casserole has really deep flavor. It’s dotted with charred florets, but also has layers of shredded broccoli. Plus, cheddar cheese because cheddar HEARTS broccoli 4EVER. Or something like that.
1) Cut florets off broccoli stalks into tiny florets. Peel broccoli stalks and grate them with a box grater. Also grate red pepper and cheddar cheese.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter your baking dish and set it aside.
3) In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add broccoli florets and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-high heat until florets are charred in spots and are bright green, maybe 3-4 minutes.
4) Remove florets from skillet. Add another tablespoon of butter. Turn heat down to medium and add garlic, shredded broccoli stalk, and shredded red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook until veggies soften, 2-3 minutes.
5) Transfer shredded veggies to the baking dish. Cover with half of the cheddar cheese. Top with broccoli florets and rest of the cheddar cheese.
6) Whisk together milk and eggs. Pour mixture over the casserole so it is evenly distributed.
7) Bake casserole for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. until eggs are puffed and center is set. Let cool briefly and then serve it up!
Broccoli Breakfast Casserole
This is the beast at hand.
I like to start by cutting the florets off into pretty small florets. Then I use a paring knife to peel the hard flesh off the stalk of the broccoli.
Once the stalk is trimmed down to just the tender center part, you can grate it up!
You can also use a veggie peeler to peel the stalk if you have a good one.
You definitely don’t want to forget to peel the stalk though. The outer flesh is really tough and not at all delicious in my experience.
Here is my finished deconstructed broccoli situation.
Cooking the Broccoli
Don’t just toss this stuff in the casserole. We can do better.
First, handle the florets. Melt a little butter (or heat olive oil) over medium-high heat. Add the florets and cook them over medium-high heat. Season them with some salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
After a few minutes, they will start to get charred in spots. That’s what you want!
Remove the florets from the skillet and add more butter or oil if your pan is dry. Then add the shredded stuff and garlic. I also grated a red pepper on the box grater for a little extra color and flavor.
You just want to cook the grated stuff for a few minutes until it softens.
Butter a 2 1/2 quart baking dish (or 8×8 baking dish) and layer in the shredded broccoli and pepper. Then add half the cheddar cheese.
Then pour in your egg mixture (eggs and milk whisked together)!
Sprinkle the whole thing with the charred broccoli pieces and more cheddar and it’s ready for the oven!
Bake this whole thing at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes and you’ll be let with a deep, cheesy casserole.
Bonus use of this casserole that I discovered: Cut it into squares and it makes perfect toddler food for quick breakfasts. I would just chop it up and pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and our baby would love it!
It’s good for adults too obviously!