I wanted to do a weekend post about a seasonal food since I have the time, but there's not a lot of fresh seasonal food in my area unless you want a hand-sculpted snowball. (Dirt and gravel for no additional charge, though it is extra if you want to make sure there's no yellow snow!)
Not sure what to do, I checked my Betty Crocker's Cooking Calendar for January and saw that broccoli is a "red letter food" for the month, so today we're taking a broccoli break!
I found a lot of recipes for omelets with broccoli (and usually cheese!), but this one from New Age Vegetarian Cookbook (The Rosicrucian Fellowship, fifth edition, 1975) seemed to be missing a little something:
It's hard to have an omelet without the eggs. I'm not narrow-minded, so I might accept a chickpea flour or tofu-based egg substitute for a vegan "omelet," but this doesn't even go that far. It's just broccoli held together with a big old pile of rice and bread crumbs. It's less broccoli omelet and more broccoli carb-bomb.
I saw a lot of broccoli casseroles consisting mainly of broccoli baked in white sauce/ cream of something soup. 1966's Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers: Vegetables Edition Including Fruits gave me a new insight into the broccoli/ béchamel genre, though.
The normal béchamel/ soup is replaced with a sour cream sauce, and the sauce is poured on at the last minute (rather than baked with the broccoli as a casserole). The topping is chopped cashews, not breadcrumbs or crushed potato chips. Pour-on sauce + cashew topping = party-fancy.
I love the old compulsion to bake everything into the shape of a ring, and Family Circle Vegetables and Meatless Meals Cookbook (1978) doesn't disappoint on that front:
This looks almost like it should have been a Christmas post with the bright red tomatoes and green ring.
I'm not sure a baked broccoli custard filled with out-of-season tomatoes would be a real draw at holiday tables, but it might look pretty.
When I saw a mold recipe in Low-Calorie Party Cookbook (Suzy Chapin, 1971), I immediately assumed it would be a gelatin mold.
It wasn't, though. It was a cheesy ring mold! Since this one is full of cheese and lacking mayo, the low-cal version sounds better to me than the full-on Family Circle one. (I'd ditch the canned carrots in the middle though. Who needs tinny overcooked vegetables when there are cheesy vegetables?)
Concerned that I might disappoint without an honest-to-goodness broccoli-gelatin salad, I did track one down just for you! Favorite Recipes of America: Salads Including Appetizers (1968) offers this ray of dirty sunshine:
I suppose it's better that the broccoli is suspended in beef consomme-flavored gelatin than lemon or lime, but I can't imagine there's a huge fan base for broccoli and hard-cooked eggs suspended in slimy, beefy mayo. The aspic hints of days when it's too hot to cook, though, so I'll take it as a promise that summer is eventually on the way!