Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin
Brussels Sprouts. They are one of my favorites to grow in the garden. I plant them throughout spring for a longer harvest in the fall and into winter. These 'baby cabbages' are so good for you! They are a cruciferous vegetable, in Latin "cruciferae" means "cross-bearing" because the four petals resemble a cross when the plant goes to into bloom. OK, enough plant-nerd talk. I could go on all day.
We like to steam these gems, or cut them in half and roast them with a little olive oil and THAT'S GOOD GARLIC! in the oven. Aaaand, sometimes we just need a little comfort food. Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin is just that dish. I like to think of it as a healthier version of mac-n-cheese.
1 large pot for boiling water
1 shallow baking dish
About 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
Butter or olive oil for greasing
1/2 cup half-n-half, whipping cream, or heavy whipping cream
2-3 Tablespoons THAT'S GOOD GARLIC!
1/2 cup grated white cheddar, cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a cheese blend
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (Check out the Garlicky Bread Crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400º and oil your dish. Bring 6-8 cups of water to a boil. While the water is heating up, wash and trim the Brussels sprouts but leave whole. Once water is boiling, add salt, usually a tablespoon will do. GENTLY lower sprouts into water and cook for 6-8 minutes. Drain well. When they are cool enough to touch, cut length-wise and place cut-side up in dish. Mix cream, garlic, nutmeg and pour over sprouts.
Layer with cheese...wonderful cheese. Now add bread crumbs on top.
OPTIONAL: Top with cooked bacon.
Bake uncovered until cheese is bubbly and crumbs are
golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm.