This colourful, cheesy broccoli dish makes the perfect vegetarian dinner or supper – or healthy side dish to meat
- 900g (2lb) tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 vegetable stock cube, optional
- 1kg (2lb 3oz) broccoli, cut into large florets
- 25–50g (1–2oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
- 25g (1oz) fresh granary breadcrumbs
To make the sauce, put the tomatoes into a large heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 1–2 minutes or until the skins start to split. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes from the water and leave to cool.
Remove the skin from the tomatoes, and then cut them in half and, using the handle of a small teaspoon, remove the seeds. Roughly chop the tomato flesh.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently until softened but not browned, then stir in the flour, crumble in the stock cube (if using) and add the chopped tomatoes.
Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat, partially cover the pan and cook for 30–40 minutes, or until it is reduced and thickened to a coating consistency. Add seasoning to taste.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Steam the broccoli over a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes, until just cooked – taking care not to overcook. Arrange in a large, shallow, ovenproof dish.
Pour the tomato sauce over the broccoli. Mix together the cheese and breadcrumbs, sprinkle over the broccoli, and then bake for 25–30 minutes, until piping hot and the cheese mixture is lightly browned. Serve accompanied with granary or wholemeal bread – and a crisp green salad, if wished.
For a little extra sharpness, add one or two finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.