Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin


Do you eat Brussels sprouts?  I tried them once and swore them off when I was about 9 or 10.  Now that I'm more into food and cooking, lots of people whose opinion I value have highlighted recipes with them in it and have sung the praises of Brussels sprouts.  I then found in my March 2011 issue of Cooking Light a recipe for a gratin that contains not just Brussels sprouts, but cauliflower.  I have never been a huge fan of it either.  I suppose you might think me a bit crazy for putting two vegetables I don't really like into a dish that I expect to be dynamite, but sometimes you have to take a chance. 

The sauce (maybe classified as a bechamel) was absolutely dynamite.  It was flavorful and creamy.  The vegetables were only a little improved by the sauce.  So, we have something I'd eat again but probably not something I'd make again.  The leftovers don't improve with age, so it's best to make this when you have a lot of people who can eat off this.  Both Drew and I recommend cutting the vegetables into smaller pieces than they recommend. 

Cripsy Topped Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin
from Cooking Light

4 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 pound)

4 cups trimmed quartered Brussels sprouts (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1.1 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
2/3 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cook cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in boiling water 2 minutes; drain.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, milk, and next 4 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a bowl; stir well with a whisk.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 3 minutes or until bacon begins to brown, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in milk mixture; bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Spoon vegetable mixture into an 11 x 7-inch broiler-safe ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover dish with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven.

Preheat broiler to high.

Remove foil from dish. Combine cheese and panko; sprinkle evenly over vegetables. Broil 5 inches from heat for 4 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

  • I used turkey bacon.  That means more oil needs to be added at the beginning since there will be no bacon grease, but the turkey bacon pieces add a nice flavor contrast to the vegetables in the gratin.
  • I used a yellow "hot" onion.  It still contributed fabulously.
  • I burned the top of my gratin.  Watch your broiling time!

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