Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Broccoli Parmesan Recipe {Vegetarian, Whole Food}

I love eggplant parmesan. But sometimes the eggplant gets a tad on the squishy side for me. So, I absolutely loved this Eggplant Tian recipe I made last year. But I found a new date to the Parmesan Prom: Broccoli Parmesan! I've never even heard of this beautiful combination before, but it's incredible.

As you may know, I LOVE to find old cookbooks in thrift stores and antique malls. The old books are much more likely to use all whole foods than your average modern book. Plus it always feels like a discovery expedition thumbing through recipes from decades ago. My mom and I were in a thrift store this Easter and I happened upon this fantastic five-volume set from 1968: Favorite Recipes of America. I got the entire set for $4.95. We should've actually gotten the set free, because, as we found out later, one of the Easter eggs the kids picked up in the in-store Easter egg hunt had a $5 coupon chip inside! But alas, mom will get to spend that $5 on some other awesome thrift store find.

My favorite book in the series, which includes Desserts, Meats, Salads, Casseroles and Vegetables, is definitely the vegetables book. And not just for the obvious reasons. I am absolutely delighted by the fact that this 400 page book is organized by vegetable! So if I have a veggie in my crisper that I'm needing to use up, I can just reference the vegetable's section in the book. How awesome is that? And that's exactly how I found this incredible recipe for Broccoli Parmesan.

Mrs. Robert J. Hill, Hon. Pres. Officers' Wives' Club, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., who submitted the original recipe to the publisher, used frozen broccoli and shortening in her version. Since I had fresh broccoli on-hand, I blanched that for a minute with some lemon juice instead. I also used butter instead of shortening, but you could use coconut oil along with parmesan substitute to make this incredible dish vegan.

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Broccoli Parmesan
Adapted from Favorite Recipes of America.
  • 1 head (about 5 cups) broccoli, blanched for 1 minute with a bit of lemon juice, and sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (I used Roasted Garlic)
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced (I used 2 portabella caps)
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tomato paste cans of broccoli liquid
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used quinoa flour for extra protein)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 350.

Cook broccoli, reserve liquid. Slice thin. Arrange in buttered 8 x 8 baking dish. Melt butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for several minutes.

Add sliced mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes. Combine tomato paste, broccoli liquid and flour. Add to pan. Season with salt and pepper. Add cheese. Cook in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes. Pour sauce over broccoli in baking dish and sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

The Results
Eggplant Parmesan is my go-to dish to order out when we go out for Italian. So I shocked my husband with this statement: "I love this MORE than eggplant Parmesan." It's true. This dish is incredible. It's just like unbreaded eggplant Parm without the squish of the eggplant you sometimes encounter. I still love eggplant Parm, but I might find myself at my local Italian restaurant asking if they can swap in some delicious, slightly crisp fresh broccoli for my eggplant. This dish is absolutely incredible! You really should give it a try. Yum...amazing.

My husband loved it, too. It's hard to say about the kids, they ate some of it, but had gorged themselves on waffles just a few hours before at breakfast, so they didn't go crazy for it.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy, Hearth and Soul Hop.


  1. My children LOVE broccoli and we rarely get even a bite when we have it! This is a great way to make it into a main dish. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My kids love broccoli, too. Our oldest is weird sometimes about it being cooked though. Would eat an entire head raw, if we let her. I suggest you make a double batch so you and the hubster can get a few bites!

  2. Definitely trying this one! :)

  3. I love eggplant parm, but this sounds like it would be a nice change of pace. I might have to try this if I get some broccoli from my garden!

  4. I love old cookbooks - the set you found sounds like a real gem! This recipe sounds like a fantastic change from eggplant parmesan. Broccoli is one of our favorite vegetables and I am looking forward to giving this recipe a try :)

  5. This looks amazing! What a delicious way to serve broccoli.