This ain't your grandma's boiled broccoli! We've hasselback'ed it, roasted it, and stuffed it with vegan smoked gouda, potato, thyme and caramelized onions.
To caramelize the onions, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced onion and a ½ teaspoon sea salt and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the onions begin to brown, turn the heat down to medium low and add 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Continue cooking for about 10 to 15 more minutes. Stir occasionally so the onions brown evenly. You want them to be a light caramel color but not too dark because they will continue to cook in the oven. Once caramelized, set aside.
In a small bowl, add remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, remaining ½ tsp sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Brush onto the broccoli crowns and on each side of the sliced potatoes.
Prep the gouda cheese slices by stacking all 6 slices on top of each other. Slice the cheese stack into long ¼-inch wide strips.
To assemble, take 2 to 3 slices of potato and slightly bend like you’re making a small taco. Add some of the vegan gouda strips in the middle and carefully, slip the potato and cheese into one of the incisions in the broccoli crown. Repeat filling each of the crowns with potato and gouda slices in each incision you made. It’s ok if the cheese crumbles and breaks apart during the stuffing stage. Take a spoonful of caramelized onion and gently stuff into each incision beside the potato and gouda filling. Top each crown with remaining 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves and soft thyme stems.
Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until the broccoli gets slightly brown on top and the cheese is melted. Broil for an extra 1 to 2 minutes on the oven’s upper rack to get some extra char.
Use 2 leftover broccoli crowns for the stuffed holiday leftover focaccia recipe!