Cauliflower and Brussels Sprout Gratin

Adapted from Bon Appetit (November 2008)

My friend and neighbor Sam has started introducing me to her family favorites now that she knows I cook a lot and am always on the lookout for something terrific. She hasn’t steered me wrong yet! I made this delectable dish for my in-laws recently and my father-in-law – a somewhat particular vegetable customer – had three large helpings. I’d say he liked it.

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered through the core
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 1-3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts and cook for one minute. Add cauliflower to the same pot and cook for one more minute. Drain and transfer vegetables to the ice bath until cool. Drain completely and set aside.
  • To make the cream sauce, add cream, half-and-half, shallots and sage to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and simmer until mixture is reduced by half, about 12 minutes. Season with kosher salt and set aside to cool slightly.
  • To make breadcrumb topping, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook until they begin to brown just a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cool slightly, then add the pine nuts and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • Spray a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of vegetables along the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Add 1-1/2 cups of Parmesan cheese evenly over vegetables, then top with the rest of the vegetables and the rest of the cheese. Pour cream mixture evenly over the top.
  • Make ahead: You can assemble the gratin up until this point up to a day ahead. Cover tightly with foil and chill. Bring to room temperature before proceeding. For the breadcrumbs, seal in an airtight container and refrigerate separately.
  • Cover gratin with foil and bake on middle rack for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top and bake uncovered another 10 minutes.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I like the vegetables to have just a little firmness to them. The original recipe calls for longer cooking upfront, but I cut this back a bit here so the vegetables could be a bit closer to crisp-tender in the finished product.
  • 2. I replaced a bit of the cream here with half-and-half. The result was very rich, though just a little watery upon serving. I used a slotted spoon. If you use only cream as the original recipe requests, you probably would not have the watery result. Let me emphasize that the dish was fabulous nonetheless.
  • 3. If you are interested in taking this dish up yet one more notch, use homemade breadcrumbs. I did not but would consider it when I make this again. To do so, simply remove the crusts from bread slices, then pulse them in a food processor until you have a fluffy pile of uneven crumbs.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

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