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Unexpectedly Good Side: Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Don't you feel sorry for Brussels sprouts? They have a horrible reputation, and I don't understand why. When cooked correctly and paired with enhancing flavors, Brussels sprouts are actually a wonderfully delicious vegetable. Pancetta or bacon, fresh thyme, and chestnuts complement Brussels sprouts' taste.

This gratin, however, is made with Parmesan, roasted garlic, and proscuitto. It pairs nicely with roasted pork or beef. For a vegetarian meal, serve the gratin alongside a pasta or sandwich. To give this underrated vegetable a little love,


Brussels Sprouts Gratin
From Food Network

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
4 ounces prosciutto, julienned, optional
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Roasted Garlic, recipe follows
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel off any damaged outer layers of Brussels sprouts. Trim the stem to make it flush. Quarter each sprout and score the stem on each quarter with a 1/4-inch-deep "X."
  3. Saute the prosciutto, if using, in the butter over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and Brussels sprouts and stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the flour and continue stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cream, half-and-half, and sherry. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then reduce the heat and continue simmering for 7 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by 1/3.
  6. Stir in the 1 cup of Parmesan, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish. Cover with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8.

Roasted Garlic:

1 head garlic
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the papery tip of the garlic head, exposing the top of each garlic clove. Brush the exposed cloves with olive oil.
  3. Place the garlic, root side down, on the center of a piece of aluminum foil. Bundle the garlic with the foil, leaving a small vent on top. Roast the garlic for 45 minutes or until the cloves turn beige and are fork tender. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.
  4. Squeeze the garlic head upside down over a small bowl and the cloves will pop out. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
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