Brussels Sprouts are not something I ever remember eating when I was growing up. They just were not a vegetable that was readily available back then I guess. We basically only had peas and carrots and green beans and sometimes corn. I can remember discovering sprouts as an adult and falling completely and totally in love with them, and with cauliflower and broccoli too. I am a real brassica lover!
I got a bargain on a huge bag of sprouts the other day and have been using them up in whatever way I can before they go off. Today I thought I would make a sort of gratin with them.
I did a search on line to see if I could find any suggestions and found what looked a lovely recipe on the BBC food web page by Sophie Grigson. I like Sophie's recipes and so I thought I would use it as a basis for what I wanted to do myself . . .
So I loosely followed it, cutting the amounts in half and then using pancetta lardons and more bread crumbs on top and grating the cheese coarser. I also changed the way I put things together and added a bit of butter to the bread crumbs, because I thought it would make them extra tasty . . . and it did.
In any case, all changes aside, this was absolutely gorgeous! It made a fabulous side dish and in all truth I could have quite happily dined on it alone and nothing else! Yes, I do love my sprouts! And when you mix them with bacon, cream and cheese, I love them even more!
*A Gratin of Sprouts & Bacon*Serves 4
1 TBS butter
2 tsp sunflower oil
75g of pancetta lardons (about 1/2 cup)
a handful of flaked almonds
200ml of double cream (7 fluid ounces)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 TBS fresh soft bread crumbs
2 further tsp melted butter3 TBS coarsely grated Parmesan Cheese
fine sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
Melt the 2 tsp butter in the skillet and add the bread crumbs. Toss to coat and cook for a few mintues until they begin to crisp up a bit. Remove from the heat and mix together with the Parmesan Cheese. Sprinkle this mixture eveny over top of the sprouts in the gratin dish.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Once it is heated place the gratin dish inside and roast the sprouts for 15 to 18 minutes until the cream is all bubbling up and the crumbs are golden brown. Serve hot.
This would make an excellent side dish for the holidays! Bon Appetit!