December 17, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Gratin in Cream and Blue Cheese

This recipe is so decadent it might win over even the most adamant brussels sprouts hater. It's also a great holiday dish (I like to sprinkle pomegranate seeds on mine for a festive presentation) and it's a loose adaptation of a recipe from my first-ever food blog crush, Orangette, which I remember discovering back in the day when I didn't even know what a blog was. Molly Wizenberg is one of my all-time favourite writers and I love when she describes how her stomach "literally coos like a baby" at the thought of cream-braised brussels sprouts and that she could "lap up a plate of this stuff like a cat with a bowl of milk". Besides, how can one resist trying the recipe that turned her from a cream-hater to a cream-lover? 

I decided to turn my version into a gratin with the addition of blue cheese because I've always loved the deep flavour it adds to creamy sauces. I used Castello blue cheese which I recently learned is GMO-free (hurrah!). I opted for their "mellow blue cheese" and found it to be velvety and not too overpowering in this dish.

This summer, my boyfriend and I grew green and purple brussels sprouts in our garden. I had never seen the purple kind before, they are quite dashing! Those brussels sprout plants are now the last soldiers standing in our garden, which has for the most part been put to bed for winter. They are bravely withstanding the cold wintery winds of mid-coast Maine, and patiently waiting to be harvested for Christmas dinner. I miss those little guys (and the tall human guy who planted them too, I miss him a LOT). But since I am still in the city, and I wanted to bring this dish to a dinner party yesterday, I had to suck it up and buy my brussels sprouts at a store. (gasp!) But in just a few days time I'll be back in Maine and I can't wait to make this recipe again with my own homegrown purple brussels sprouts and my sweetheart by my side!

Adapted from Molly Wizenberg's Cream-Braised Brussels Sprouts

(Feeds 6 to 8 hungry people)

2 pounds brussels sprouts
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Wash and trim the brussels sprouts and cut them in half. In a medium pot, cook the brussels sprouts in the wine on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until all the wine is gone (watch closely that they don't burn). Transfer them and into a buttered baking dish. Crumble the blue cheese and pour the cream on top. Add the grated parmesan. Bake covered in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes or until top is golden. If you want a darker top, you can broil it for the last minute but I over-broiled mine slightly, so don't burn it like I did, one single minute of broiling should be plenty! Garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.

*One little eco-cooking tip: I try to avoid using aluminum foil whenever I can, if you don't have a lidded baking dish, simply put a cookie sheet on top of the pan to cover it up without using aluminum foil.


  1. Aube - this sounds divine! What a wonderful way to rescue an otherwise nasty little cabbage - yup, I'm a hater from WAY back but had my mind changed about two years ago when Gina posted a recipe for oven roasted, shaved brussel sprouts - simple, and as yummy and satisfying as french fries! Neat to learn of another potentially delicious treatment ...

    1. Oooh! I'll have to ask Gina for her recipe, sounds delicious! I'm glad you changed your mind ;-) Happy holidays to you and Pam, I'm sad I won't be in NS this year :-( But I hope next year we can resume what was starting to an annual tradition of having a boxing day family open house in the valley. xoxox