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While we are fans of the occasional patty melt, and maybe even a tuna melt here or there, we don’t tend to keep the diner staple in our regular recipe rotation.  But…we found this version a few weeks ago, and even included it in our Belle-ringer post (number 68), and thought it was worth a try!

From Smitten Kitchen, these broccoli melts looked too good to ignore…and belles, are we glad we didn’t!   We decided to put the recipe to the test and it passed with flying colors!!

Broccoli Melts

1 lb broccoli, washed and chopped into small chunks

2 T olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Red pepper flakes to taste (a pinch or two…)

Finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Course salt

1/2 c grated pecorino Romano cheese

8 slices provolone

8 slices bread of your choice

Steam broccoli for 2-3 minutes until tender.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.  Wipe pan dry and heat over medium heat.  Add olive oil and allow to heat for 1 minute, then add garlic and pepper flakes.  Cook for 1 minute or until garlic turns golden.  Add the broccoli and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Season with salt.  Transfer to bowl and add lemon zest, juice, and pecorino.  Add salt and pepper flakes to taste.

Heat broiler.  Arrange slices of bread on tray and toast lightly on both sides.  Spoon broccoli mixture onto each bread slice and top with a slice of cheese.  Place under the broiler until cheese melts and begins to brown.  

The process:

Steam the broccoli, then drain, pat dry and set aside.  Dry pot/pan and add olive oil. Sauté garlic and pepper flakes

Add broccoli back to pot, then add lemon zest and juice (note the shameless plug for BuDhaGirl and Bezels & Bytes) 😉

Add pecorino Romano and season to taste with salt and more pepper flakes if desired

Spoon mixture onto your choice of toasted bread slices and top with provolone

Run under broiler until hot, bubbly & slightly browned.  Serve.  Prepare for applause.

Tip:  we used crostini toasts and served as an appetizer, but can totally see using larger slices of bread to make this a perfect, hearty side to a bowl of soup as the weather chills!

It’ll make you melt, belles!