Broccoli in a Blanket

  • Serves: Makes 24 rolls
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 375
  • Views: 9323
  • Comments: 1

These stuffed rolls are a vegetarian riff on the ever-popular “Pigs in a Blanket”.
Tender crescent rolls filled with roasted broccoli, two cheeses and a roasted garlic spread.
Dip in ranch dressing or balsamic vinaigrette for a real vegetarian treat!
Great as a side dish, or a lunch box filler.
We want to help prevent food waste and show you ways to use what we call misshapen or ugly produce. 
Join our Ugly Produce is Beautiful Educational Campaign, helping to bring awareness to our Nation's enormous food waste problem. This recipe shows you how to use ugly produce in beautiful and delicious ways!

For the roasted garlic spread:

2 heads of garlic
4 teaspoons of olive oil, divided (2 teaspoons for roasting, and 2 teaspoons to finish) 

For the roasted broccoli:
3-4 pounds broccoli, preferably organic
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for the baking sheets
2 cloves garlic, put through a press
1 scant teaspoon salt
5-6 grinds freshly ground pepper

For the cheese filling:
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese

For the crescent rolls:
1 cup warm water
1 envelope, or 2 1/4 teaspoons, active dry yeast
1/2 cup, one stick, unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Scant 1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1 cup white whole wheat flour or 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour; spoon into measuring cup and level to rim
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted, for finishing


1. Position an oven shelf to the middle of the oven.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Roasted Garlic Spread:
1. Pull the outer papery skin off the garlic heads, then place them in a sheet of aluminum foil, and drizzle them with 2 teaspoons olive oil.

2. Seal the foil, then place the packet in the oven to roast with the broccoli, next.

3. After roasting the garlic with the broccoli, below, open the cooled packet of roasted garlic.
Remove the cloves from the head, one by one, and squeeze the softened cloves into a small bowl.

4. Mash with the back of a spoon to form a fairly smooth paste, then add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil and stir to combine.

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.

Roasted Broccoli:
You will need 48 broccoli clusters, two for each roll.  

1. Cut the woody ends off the broccoli, and set them aside.
NOTE: Do not throw away these cut ends away! Save them in the refrigerator for a few days or freeze. You can use them for soup or even broccoli slaw, as long as you peel the very woody outer skin away!

Leave 3-inches of the stem on the broccoli, the cut the heads, lengthwise, into smaller clusters.

2. Peel away the skin on the bottom of each cluster, to insure that they will be tender.
Broccoli stems are just as delicious as the florets, you just have to make sure to peel them first.

SARAH SAYS: There is no need to waste them!

3. Put the broccoli clusters in a large bowl, then drizzle with the olive oil.

4. Add the two cloves of pressed garlic.

5. Add the salt and pepper, then, using your hands, gently toss, to evenly distribute the seasonings.

6. Lightly oil two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil, and spread the oil to evenly coat the pan.
NOTE: I always use my well-worn baking sheets to roast veggies. They’re not pretty, but they are workhorses in my kitchen!

7. Place the broccoli on the prepared pans, in a single layer, then place them in the oven with the garlic packet.

8. Roast for 10 minutes. Then turn the broccoli over, then return to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, 20 minutes in total.

9. After 20 minutes, remove the garlic packet, and the broccoli from the hot baking sheet aside, at room temperature, to cool.
The garlic cloves should be soft, and the broccoli should be crisp-tender, with some browning.

NOTE: The broccoli will be baked again, so it doesn’t have to be completely soft.

10. Turn off the oven.

11. Finish Step 3, above, in making the Roasted Garlic Spread.

Cheese Filling:
1. Mix the two cheese together. 

2. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator.

 This dough is a breeze to put together, and it takes very little kneading to make a beautiful dough.
1. Place the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the water and give it a stir.
Set aside for 5 minutes, to activate.

2. Mix the two flours together, then add the baking powder and salt.
Whisk to combine.

3. Add the melted butter, the sugar and the eggs to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.

4. Place the bowl on the stand mixer, and add the flour to the wet ingredients.
Mix on low, with the paddle attachment, until a soft dough begins to form, about 2 minutes.

5. Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and lightly knead for about two minutes.

6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, then turn the dough, so the top of the ball is oiled.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set it aside to rise in a warm place for one hour.

Roll the dough and portion it into a total of 24 triangles:

1. Fit two rimmed baking sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.

2. Remove plastic wrap from the crescent roll dough bowl and put the dough on a floured surface.

Press gently on the dough to degas it, then cut the dough in half with a bench scraper.

3. Form the dough into two balls, then place one ball back into the bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

4. Press the dough out, on a lightly floured surface,  into a rough circle with your hands, then roll it into a circle of about 12-inches in diameter.

5. Gently brush the surface of the dough with the reserved roasted garlic paste.

6. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into quarters.

7. Then cut each quarter into three equal triangles, making 12 in all.

8. You will do this will the second ball of dough after the triangles are filled.

Fill the rolls:
Working with one triangle at a time, fill the rolls.
1. Place two of the broccoli sections in each roll, with the floret end facing out, and the stems pointing toward the center of the triangle. 

2. Place a large pinch of cheese over the broccoli stems.
Add a grind of pepper and a tiny pinch of salt over the cheese.

3. Begin rolling the dough up, from the large end, to form the roll.

4. Place the rolls on the prepared sheets, two inches apart, with the point of the triangle tucked under each roll.

5. Repeat the above steps with the second ball of dough.

6. Cover both sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven and bake the rolls:
1. At this point, position two oven shelves in the oven; one in the lower third and one in the upper thirds of the oven. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. After 30 minutes of the oven heating, remove the plastic wrap from the rolls, and place the two sheets of rolls in the oven to bake, one on each shelf.

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

4. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven, brush the surface with melted butter.

Serve warm, as is, or with the dip or vinaigrette of choice.

Refrigerate any remaining rolls, then reheat to serve.


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