Cheesy Brussels sprouts gratin with bacon will win over sworn haters of the green vegetable
I heard someone refer to Brussels sprouts recently as "little cabbage balls" and almost spit out my drink with laughter when it happened. I honestly still laugh just thinking about it, but I gotta give it to the guy, he's kind of right. They do indeed look like little cabbage balls, and let's be honest — that definitely doesn't help with the bad rap they've gotten over the years.
The thing is, Brussels sprouts can be absolutely delicious; you just have to know how to cook them. My favorite way may be a simple roast with olive oil, salt and pepper, but sometimes you need some veggie decadence in your life, and when that happens, this gratin is your answer.
Cheesy, creamy, bacon bit-studded, and yet gluten free for everyone to love. Little cabbage balls have never tasted so good.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the Brussels sprouts, and blanch them for about 2 – 3 minutes, then drain, and transfer them to an ice bath. Once they have cooled, drain the water and ice, and set them aside.
To a large pot over medium heat, add the diced bacon, and cook until crispy.
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set it aside on a plate, leaving the fat in the pot.
Add the butter and onion to the pot, and cook until softened, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Add the flour, and whisk until all the liquid is absorbed into the flour, about 1 minute.
Add the milk, and whisk until the mixture thickens.
Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, 1/2 the bacon pieces and the Brussels sprouts.
Toss until the Brussels sprouts are completely coated in the mixture.
Transfer them to a greased baking dish, top with the remaining cheddar and the bacon, and then grate some fresh Parmesan on top.
Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, and finish under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, until golden brown on top.
Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.