Gluten free, dairy free, vegan
Difficulty: Easy peasy
Time: 45 minutes
This broccoli bake is a fusion of my Nonna from Sicily’s famous broccoli recipe and my grandma’s traditional and tasty cauliflower bake. Although both of these wonderful women would use cheese and milk in their recipes, I have brought the two recipes together using only nourishing plant-based ingredients. It is made up of 3 parts; The tasty broccoli/broccolini, the cashew cheese and the tasty “Almesan” cheese mix that is baked into the top.
It’s the perfect dish to add a flavoursome side for most winter meals and goes fantastic with roast pumpkin, some fragrant rice and a salad.
• Pot of boiling water
• Small pan or tray for baking
• Small pot for the cashew sauce
• Food processor
• Blender or bullet
• Medium sized mixing bowl
For the broccolini:
• 1 bunch x broccolini (chopped into thirds)
• 2 cups x broccoli head (broken into similar sized pieces)
• 1 medium clove x garlic (finely chopped)
• Zest x 1/2 lemon
• A handful x freshly chopped parsley
• 5 tablespoons x extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons x nutritional yeast flakes
• Squeeze x fresh lemon juice
• 1/2 teaspoon x freshly cracked black pepper
• About 3/4 teaspoon x sea salt (use your taste buds to decide if you need more)
For the cashew cheese sauce:
• 1/2 cup x cauliflower (chopped up)
• 1/2 cup x cashews (pre-soaked in room temperature water for 3 hours and rinsed well)
• 1 x bay leaf (fresh if possible)
• 1 clove x garlic
• Enough water to just cover and make ingredients float
• 1/4 cup x nutritional yeast flakes
• 2 tablespoons x extra virgin olive oil
• About 1 teaspoon x sea salt (use your taste buds to decide if you need more)
For the almesan cheese crumb:
• 1/2 cup x raw almonds
• 3/4 tablespoon x nutritional yeast
• 1/2 tsp x sea salt
• 1/2 tablespoon x extra virgin olive oil
To start, bring pot of water to boil and preheat oven to 220c.
1. Start with cashew cheese sauce by adding all of the ingredients (except nutritional yeast and oil) to a pot with lid and bring to a boil. Turn down to low simmer for about 12 minutes or until everything is soft. Then turn off and leave to sit for about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, start on the broccolini/broccoli mix by adding all of its ingredients (except broccoli/broccolini) to a mixing bowl. Mix them well.
3. Boil your broccoli/broccoli for 3-5 minutes or until soft. You want them to be soft enough so you can easily break them up, but still have a lovely green glow. Remove them from pot once they are ready, drain excess water and quickly mix them into the mixture in the bowl while they are hot. This will allow them to infuse and soak up the flavours!
4. Finish your cashew cheese sauce by blending together with the rest of its ingredients (nutritional yeast and olive oil) until smooth and silky in texted. (NOTE: Make sure mix isn’t very hot if using a bullet. Leave it to cool closer to room temperature first to be safe)
5. Now, let’s make the Almesan: Add all of its ingredients to a food processor or bullet and pulse until the mix is crumbly and looks a little like chunky almond meal.
6. Now let’s bake! Place broccolini mix on bottom of baking tray or pan, then pour over cashew cheese sauce and sprinkle Almesan on top.
7. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden. (Every oven is different)
Serve alongside your favourite roast, with my spiced pumpkin wheel recipe and a lovely salad.
About the Chef
Simon Favorito: Executive Chef and Head of Wholefood Education
Simon Favorito comes from a lineage of wholefood chefs & has spent over half his life helping people to discover the magic of wholefood medicine through the culinary arts as a chef, a natural health practitioner, coach & teacher.
Simon offers conscious event catering, educational courses and personalised coaching that combines natural health principles, wholistic nutritional, modern psychology, traditional & contemporary food philosophy to help individuals create their own life changing food culture.
You can find Si cooking and teaching at Billabong Retreat every week Wednesday to Friday. For information on Wholefoods medicine, recipes, workshops and courses around Sydney, be sure to visit Simon’s website Your Conscious Kitchen or his Instagram Page.