40g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
500ml milk
75g Gruyère, grated
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
200ml crème fraiche
300g purple sprouting broccoli spears
8 slices Parma ham

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Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Parma Ham au Gratin


The combination of salty Parma ham and robust broccoli smothered in a creamy, cheesy sauce results in a delicious family lunch. This will even entice the most reluctant toddler to eat broccoli. Serve with boiled new potatoes and butter.

Preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/375˚F/Gas mark 5. Make a roux by gently melting the butter in a saucepan and stirring in the flour to form a paste. It will take a couple of minutes to cook through. Take the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the milk, using a balloon whisk to avoid lumps. Return to a gentle heat and simmer. Add most of the Gruyère and allow it to melt into the sauce. Keep stirring. When the cheese has completely melted, turn off the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard and crème fraiche.

Wrap four or five broccoli spears in each slice of Parma ham and lay them in a buttered ovenproof dish. Pour over the cheese sauce and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Before serving, scatter the remaining cheese over the top and flash under the grill to bubble and brown.