When I'm serving a plain meat dish, say roast beef, or brisket, or chicken, this meatloaf, or a slice of ham, I like to have a vegetable casserole of some sort as a not-so-boring side. This recipe is one of my favorites because it pairs well with anything, has an unexpectedly sophisticated taste thanks to fresh broccoli and toasted pecans, and pretty much everyone loves it and goes back for more. In fact, let me share with you the time that I last served it.
Recently a friend of my husband's decided to pay us a visit and be our house guest for five days. FIVE. Yeah, I'll just leave it at that. The night of his arrival I prepared a roast beef, mashed potato casserole, and this broccoli dish. Now, he likes to cook, and is quite a talker, and tends to know many things about many things (or thinks that he does) so as he was shoveling the third portion of this casserole onto his plate commented about how much he likes a good recipe and cannot abide anything that contains such mundane ingredients as cream of mushroom soup. A look of panic flashed across Mr. O-P's face as he turned to me for guidance. “I so agree,” I replied, smiling to myself knowingly. Yes, cream of mushroom soup was a main ingredient in nearly every casserole during the 70s, and it's probably not the healthiest thing to add to a dish, but boy does this taste good. Ask the expert!
Broccoli Pecan Casserole
1 large crown of fresh broccoli
1 10¾-ounce can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted
1½ teaspoons dry minced onion
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with vegetable spray (PAM).
Cut broccoli into bite size pieces. Bring a 2-quart pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop broccoli into boiling water, reduce heat slightly, and cook until tender crisp, about 4-5 minutes, depending upon size of the pieces. Drain broccoli; set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together soup, mayonnaise, and chopped pecans. Whisk in beaten eggs and onions. Fold broccoli into mixture and turn in to prepared casserole dish.
Sprinkle top with grated cheese. Scatter bread crumbs over the top, and drizzle butter over the crumbs.
Bake for 30 minutes.
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