Summer is on its way, and as usual, that means we’re craving fruits and veggies as more and more of them come into season. But we can’t subsist on salads alone, no matter how veggie-crazed we’re feeling. Sometimes, you need a dinner that walks the balance between comfort food and nutritious, and no one is better at getting there than Jamie Oliver. In honor of National Vegetarian Week, he just shared a recipe for greens mac ‘n’ cheese that we’re already obsessing over.
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The recipe comes from Oliver’s cookbook Ultimate Veg, which focuses on meals that are chock full of fresh produce.
Oliver uses a combination of fresh veggies and sharp cheeses to make this mac stand out.
First, he simmers leeks, broccoli, and thyme in butter in a large casserole dish (this saves on clean-up later; we recommend a nice Le Creuset baking dish). He then makes a bechamel sauce right in the casserole dish with flour and milk.
Oliver then adds grated Parmesan and cheddar cheese to the sauce, and then pours it into a blender with some spinach. This turns the sauce a lovely green color and makes it extra smooth.
Add your cooked pasta, the sauce, and some broccoli florets back to the casserole dish. Stir everything together, top with grated cheddar and slivered almonds, and bake until bubbly and golden on top.
The result is a dish that tastes creamy and indulgent, but bright and fresh. It’s loaded with good green flavor and plenty of cheese, with a bit of crunch on top for texture. It’s the kind of meal the whole family will love, and it’s perfect for those chilly spring and summer nights when you’re craving something substantial.
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Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet