The late President George H. W. Bush made it known that he hated broccoli. Had he tasted this concoction, perhaps he would have changed his mind. It is delicious. Most guests took seconds when I served it at a diner party.
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 large eggs
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in upper third. Cut broccoli florets into 1-inch pieces, then peel large stems with a knife and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Cook broccoli in boiling salted water 5 minutes, then drain.
Meanwhile, whisk together milk, cream, cheese, eggs, and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Put broccoli in a shallow flameproof baking dish, then pour milk mixture over top. Toss bread crumbs with oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over gratin.
Bake until custard is set, about 30 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil until bread crumbs are golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Enjoy!