Since 1926, the Agricultural Review has been a free newspaper published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For many years, The Tar Heel Kitchen was a featured column written by the department’s marketing home economist.
These recipes tended to be seasonal with just a handful of ingredients. We thought these recipes needed to be shared in a new format. The Tar Heel Kitchen post will unearth a few of these timeless recipes each month. This week we are revisiting the Feb. 15, 1977 issue and a recipe for peanut broccoli casserole.
“The Chinese people have a way of designated years with names of animals,” said York Kiker, former NCDA&CS home economist. “Perhaps in the United States we can follow suit by using foods and calling this the “year of peanut.” Everyone is well aware from the news, the peanut jewelry, cartoons and jokes that a peanut grower has been elected President.”
Of course Kiker is referring to the election of Jimmy Carter, our 39th president. In 1977, North Carolina led the nation with 60 percent production of the large Virginia-type peanuts and ranked 3rd nationally in peanut production.
Peanuts are still an important crop in North Carolina, with more than 400 million pounds harvested in 2014, according to the USDA.. The state now ranks 5th nationally in peanut production, and the kind we produce the most of are still the large Virginia-type peanuts.
Kiker’s recipe combines nutritionally-dense peanuts with another nutritional powerhouse – broccoli. This casserole would be great to take to church homecoming or to fix for an upcoming family dinner.
• 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained (**or use fresh if in season)
• 1 can cream of chicken soup
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 cup chopped N.C. salted peanuts
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• ¼ cup onion
• 2 N.C. eggs, beaten
• 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Mix together all ingredients except cheese. Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
The casserole was enjoyed by all in the test kitchen. The crunchy peanuts added a nice texture. Some of use would have left the broccoli pieces bigger as well. To make it a complete meal, add turkey or chicken.