Elements of Food

Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Bacon

I love Brussels Sprouts and I don’t need them to be covered in a cheese sauce to entice me…I am, however, certainly not opposed to it! As a side to my lemon, thyme and garlic roasted pork tenderloin, I served these delectable little sprouts and we just loved them…It’s hard to beat the cheesey, gooey goodness and the tender, crunchy little sprouts. The sprouts roast in the oven for about 30 minutes and you would think after this long they would be soft…but they remained crunchy and delicious and the sauce soaked into all the leaf layers of the sprouts. These didn’t last long…

brussels sprouts gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of Brussels Sprouts, outer leaves taken off and cut in half
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of flour
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Gruyere cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons of light mayonnaise
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil and add in the sprouts. Blanch for one minute, they should turn bright green. Do not “cook” the sprouts, you do not want them to be soft.

Remove the sprouts from the water, place in a bowl and set aside.

In the same sauce pan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Stir until blended. Do not let the flour burn. Add in the milk, mayo, cheese, bacon and pepper. Whisk until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are combined.

Combine the sprouts and the cheese sauce and mix until combined. Place the mixture into a baking dish and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the sprouts are tender. During the last 5 minutes of baking, add additional cheese on top and allow to brown slightly in the oven.

Elements of Food

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Eat Your Veggies.

I contemplated not putting the word Brussels Sprouts in the title for fear that no one would read past the first sentence. However, I believe that people are coming to terms with this crunchy little veggie as a satisfying side dish. And why not? All it really is, is a tiny head of crunchy leaves almost like a mini cabbage, that absorbs the flavors you add to it. So it gets a bad rap. But, so does any veggie that was traditionally served steamed, mushy and flavorless…same goes for cauliflower. Give them a chance!! That’s all they ask…remember, it’s all in the preparation.

I didn’t grow up with Brussels Sprouts, so I really didn’t have a reason not to give them a try. I first had them with my husband out at a restaurant and they were prepared beautifully…roasted until they were caramelized with olive oil and vinegar, with crispy outer leaves…literally bursting with flavor. The secret it out. They taste good…AND they are good for you! Talk about simple…these took very little preparation. I made these as a side dish to my crunchy buttermilk chicken (recipe to follows shortly…) and a little brown rice, and this was a simple dinner we’ll enjoy often.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound of Brussels Sprouts, any wilted or yellow outer leaves removed. Rinse.
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse and cut your Brussels sprouts so that you’re cutting lengthwise through the bottom stem. This keeps them in tact. Cutting them in half not only makes them easier to eat, but it also allows the oil and vinegar to seep into the layers…
  3. In a large ziplock bag, combine the halved sprouts, oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Shake the bag gently to coat and let them marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. In a large glass roasting pan or sided cookie sheet, spread the sprouts into one layer. Roast them in the oven for 30 minutes, or until tender, flipping them half way through to crisp both sides. Sprouts are done when they are crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. Remember…they should still have a tiny bite to them, you don’t want these mushy!
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if you wish…but the vinegar gives them the best flavor.

Enjoy!

-A