Broccoli is a vegetable notoriously and universally despised by children around the world. In fact, mothers should be awarded gold stars for every time they manage to hide it in egg frittatas, stews and stir fries. Broccoli may get a bad wrap for its flavour, but its nutritional content more than makes up for its distinctive ‘sulphur-y’ smell. On top of being a great source of fibre and folate, this green veggie has numerous benefits for your eyes, heart and immune system and it’s in season right now.
Broccoli’s iconic bitterness is a barometer of its health properties. Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli gets much of its bitter taste from the presence of glucosinolates, such as glucoraphanin. This compound reduces blood cholesterol, and is even reputed to have anti–ageing and anti-oxidising effects to improve age related declines in immune function.
So, if you’re looking to get more broccoli into your diet, we think we’ve nailed it with this delicious recipe for Broccoli and Cauliflower Cannelloni from the SoupedUp Kitchen.
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1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Cook broccoli and cauliflower in a large pot of salted water until soft. Drain, reserving cooking liquid as required.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add garlic, chilli (if used) and thyme. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
3. Add broccoli, cauliflower and reserved cooking liquid. Reduce heat to low, then cook, covered for 15 minutes or until vegetables have softened and liquid has evaporated.
4. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper and stir through 1/3 of carbonara sauce.
5. Pour 1/3 of tomato pasta sauce over the base of a baking dish. Spoon or pipe broccoli mixture into cannelloni shells.
6. Arrange filled shells in a single layer over pasta sauce, then top with remaining pasta sauce.
7. Spread remaining carbonara sauce over pasta sauce, then sprinkle with cheeses.
8. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.