Simple to Super Side Dishes

August 27, 2015  •  Side Dishes

rice-and-broccoli-casseroleThis is one of those incredibly simple dishes that I decided to make for a summer dinner for friends, and at the last minute decided this is worth sharing. Not because it’s made from anything special, but because it’s not made from anything special, and yet the dish is special. It’s this little bit of thought that converts two simple sides – broccoli and rice – that might otherwise be kind of boring, into something that has your friends saying, “Wow, that rice is really good!”rice blendbroccoli florets blanchedYou’re going to start with rice and cook it according to the package, and then blanch some broccoli florets.fontina-cheese-sauceAnd then you’re going to stir that all together with a cheesy simple white sauce…almonds sliced…and top it with some sliced almonds. But you know what my favorite part of this is? It’s ready to go for a dinner party and can simply be zapped in the microwave to reheat which is perfect in the summer – no heating up the oven! Although you can also bake it – just be sure the almonds don’t burn. And you what else? You can put whatever vegetables you want into this, so go wild!

Simple to Super Side Dishes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 4
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup rice, cooked according to package
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, blanched for 1 minute
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  1. Whisk the butter and flour together in a saucepan over medium heat heat and cook for 2-3 minutes to remove the raw flour taste. Slowly whisk in the milk until the sauce is completely thickened, and then stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Combine the cooked rice and blanched broccoli together in a medium bowl and stir in the cheese sauce. Spoon into a casserole dish, smooth the surface, and sprinkle with the almonds. Heat in the microwave or oven until hot and bubbly.


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