If you have more than one child you may understand this tale: I have two children. One is an adventurous eater, and one is not. One loves fish, and the other can’t stand it (although I don’t really remember her tasting much of it.) One loves butter, while the other would prefer not to be seated at the same table with it. My highly unscientific theory is that this is nature’s way of ensuring that it’s offspring do not starve. If siblings have opposite tastes, then there is enough sustenance to feed the litter. After all, how would our species advance? At least this is how I console myself as a parent and a cook.
Which brings me to brussel sprouts. OK, I understand that you don’t have to be a child genetically predisposed to preserving the human race to dislike brussel sprouts. These little crucifers are enough to rile many a mature adult. But in our home, they are enjoyed – at least by most of us. My son likes them, and, therefore, my daughter does not. So, in a moment of inspiration and indefatigable hope I purchased a bag of firm pretty brussel sprouts at the market today with a plan. Instead of stir-frying or steaming them, I would gratinée them. While my daughter dislikes brussel sprouts, she loves gratins. Anything cheesy, creamy and crispy is right up her alley. Why not? I would give it a try. And you know what? She liked it. The problem is that my son, who dislikes rich and creamy food, did not.
Brussel Sprout Gratin
1 1/2 pounds brussel sprouts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F. (180 C.) Wash brussel sprouts. Trim outer leaves and bottoms. Cut in half. Steam brussel sprouts until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined and light golden in color. Add milk in a steady stream, whisking to incorporate. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Stir in Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg until smooth. Pour over the brussel sprouts and mix to thoroughly coat. Transfer to a gratin dish. Combine panko and Parmigiano in another small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over brussel sprouts. Bake in oven until golden brown and heated through.
If you like this you might enjoy these recipes:
Pasta with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts from TasteFood
Spicy Sriracha Brussel Sprouts from White on Rice Couple
Cauliflower au Gratin from TasteFood
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Cranberry Pistachio Pesto from Steamy Kitchen