Brussels sprouts are your friends

Why do Brussels sprouts get such a bad rap?  It was always the food used as a threat by mothers in sitcoms when I was growing up so I think as a result I just never even tried one until I was an adult because I just assumed they would be gross.  Boy, was that assumption wrong!  They’re delicious.

I’ve been making them as a side dish at Thanksgiving for the past five or so years and they are almost always a hit.  (I say almost always because small children and my Grandma Molly are not big fans, but that just means more for the rest of us!)  I usually roast them until they get all brown and caramelized but a few years ago I ate them in a gratin at a fancy restaurant in New York and was inspired to seek out a recipe for this cooking method.

The recipe I found also involves cauliflower which is another vegetable that can sometimes get an undeserved bad rap.  Brussels sprouts and cauliflower smothered in cream and Parmesan cheese?  Yes, please!

This gratin also gets a crunchy topping courtesy of bread crumbs and toasted pine nuts.  This dish just might make it to my Thanksgiving table this year!

I will be tagging all Thanksgiving-worthy recipes as such to help you with your menu planning, so check back closer to the date if you are in need of some ideas.

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Gratin (found at

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings
  • 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, quartered lengthwise through core
  • 1 1 1/2-to 1 3/4-pound head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into small florets
  • 2 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 11/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Fill large bowl with ice and cold water. Cook brussels sprouts in large pot of generously salted boiling water 2 minutes. Add cauliflower to same pot; cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain. Transfer vegetables to bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well.

Combine cream, shallots, and sage in large saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture is reduced to 21/2 cups, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs; stir until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool. Stir in pine nuts and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; arrange half of vegetables in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Arrange remaining vegetables evenly over, then sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 cups Parmesan. Pour cream mixture evenly over. DO AHEAD: Breadcrumb topping and gratin can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover gratin with foil. Bake covered 40 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle breadcrumb topping over and bake uncovered 15 minutes longer.

5 thoughts on “Brussels sprouts are your friends

  1. Perfectly executed point about the unjust reputation of brussel sprouts. Blame TV….agreed.

    Hopefully this dish gets set out at many a Thanksgiving feast this year…….looks like a winner. Now, if we can just do something about that 2 3/4 cup of whipping cream:-)

  2. Pingback: How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

  3. Pingback: brussels sprouts and bacon, oh my « Baxter and Main

  4. Pingback: ten suggestions for your Thanksgiving menu « Baxter and Main

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