Aren't parties fabulous? I want to throw a party every weekend if it weren't for my introverted husband I would be stocking plastic cutlery and tea lights as high as my laundry room shelving would allow which is probably a good thing because the other people in my life may be neglected in the food budget category if I were shopping for a parties all week long. When I do get to throw a party I usually like to have some nibbles immediately available upon guests arrival, like olives, nuts and something chocolatey and/or minty. This recipe is a great make ahead, inexpensive and feeds a crowd. A big crusty loaf of French bread is slathered with butter (I know, you're sold, right?), baked until supremely crispy, then a creamy, cheesy broccoli mixture is topped onto the bread, baked again, then sliced for noshing. Broccoli Party Bread will be so perfect at your next party, promise. Nosh on.
Begin by cooking a large head of broccoli, I like to steam mine in the microwave for about 3 minutes, drain and let steam under a kitchen towel until perfectly tender. While the broccoli is cooling, take your loaf of bread and slice in half horizontally. Place sliced side down on a cookie sheet, slather the tops with butter and bake for 20 minutes. I considered doing olive oil, to save on butter consumption, but went the all butter route - way smarter. While your bread is baking, to the slightly cooled broccoli, add in chopped onion, mayo, cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. I happened to have mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan on hand, so I used all three. You could use one type of cheese or a mixture of whatever you have on hand - it's very versatile and forgiving - anything cheesy and creamy is going to by yummy. I also wonder if the mayo could be substituted with cream cheese?Hmmmm? Travis said the creamy topping reminded him of his mother's cooking. Something about casseroles and cream. Now that creamy, cheesy broccoli goodness is slathered on the cut side of the baked bread, pop back into the oven and wait 10 long minutes. Now you're ready for the party.
Broccoli Party Bread
Auntie Mary's Recipe
1 loaf crusty bread
3 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups broccoli, steamed, chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup mayo
1 1/2 cups cheese (mixture of mozzarella, cheddar, Parmesan)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Paprika, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Slice bread in half lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet, sliced side down, spread tops with butter. Bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients except paprika in a medium-sized bowl. Spread the mixture on toasted bread halves, return to oven and bake until brown and bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven dust with paprika.