This recipe is in partnership with California Olive Ranch. See below for more details.
There are certain combinations I’ve never found appealing. One of which is broccoli on a grilled cheese sandwich. I recently had one of these sandwiches (it was the only vegetarian option on a menu that sounded decent). So I ordered it only to be served a sandwich with giant piece of broccoli. One of my major pet peeves is a sandwich that has tough-to-bite ingredients in too large of pieces. It makes for a rather awkward eating situation.
And so, I set off to make a broccoli sandwich that I would love. This broccoli melt was the result and it’s seriously delicious. The broccoli and garlic provides a good base, especially when you are using good olive oil (like California Olive Ranch!) The taleggio cheese takes this melt to the next level. I find taleggio to be the perfect amount of stinky cheese and it melts beautifully.
This delicious melt features an easy broccoli sauce, melty cheese, and a fried egg to round out the meal.
- 1 cup broccoli florets and peeled stems
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons crushed almonds
- 1 small garlic clove
- Water, as needed
- 2 slices crusty bread
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 2 ounces taleggio cheese
- 2 fried eggs
- Chili Flakes
- Olive Oil, for drizzling
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and have an ice bath ready. Add the broccoli to the pot and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Broccoli should be bright green and mostly tender. Transfer broccoli to the ice bath to stop the cooking.
- Heat oven to 400˚F. Place the slices of bread on a sheet tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or so, just until the bread is just starting to toast. Time will depend on how thick your bread slices are.
- While the bread is toasting, combine ingredients for the broccoli in a blender or food processor. Puree until the broccoli is in small pieces/the sauce is mostly smooth. Add the broccoli blanching water as needed to thin the puree enough to combine everything. I like the puree to be on the thick/spreadable side.
- Assemble the melts by adding a layer of shallots to the toast, followed by the broccoli puree, and cheese. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese has melted and is slightly browning, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the melts from the oven and top with fried eggs if desired. Serve the melts with a drizzle of olive oil, red pepper flakes, and fresh parsley.
- Calories: 509
- Sugar: 4.1
- Sodium: 418
- Fat: 39.8
- Carbohydrates: 22.4
- Fiber: 2.7
- Protein: 18
- Cholesterol: 176
This melt is a solid recipe for swapping whatever you might have on hand. I love the broccoli but the sauce is really where you can easily change as needed. A few of my favorites:
Greens: Use greens in place of the broccoli. Kale, spinach, or chard would all work. You could also use cauliflower or romanesco. Change the blanching time as needed- the greens would only need 60 seconds, if that.
Pesto: Have a pesto hanging around? Use that in place of the broccoli spread.
Cheese: Taleggio isn’t always the easiest to find. Look for another good melting cheese like havarti or fontina.
I love using California Olive Ranch Arbosana Olive Oil in my spreads and pestos. The nutty flavor just adds one more layer to the overall spread which I find especially perfect for this broccoli spread. Plus, then you have good olive oil to drizzle on top (a must to complete these broccoli melts!) Beyond this recipe, a few of my other favorite ways to use this oil:
Grilled Celeriac Steaks
Green Harissa Chickpea Avocado Salad
Chimichurri Potato Tacos
Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with California Olive Ranch. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.