Prior to receiving Brussels sprouts for the first time in our CSA history, my experience with the little green balls was…not good. I think I had only eaten them from frozen, microwaved until steaming, and plopped in front of me with an order to “eat your vegetables.” They were gross. And I did not relish the opportunity to cook them. My husband had even less experience with them – he knew they were green…maybe…but ne’er had one single sprout passed his lips. But that all changed when we had Brussels browned with cheese.
Butter and cheese? What vegetable wouldn’t be delicious with these dairy pillars? And these sprouts were no exception. I loved them. My husband loved them. Our toddler even tried them. I liked them so much that I’m hoping the “mystery item” in our box tomorrow is more Brussels sprouts.
The recipe is, once again, from the great Julia Child. As such, it has several steps, none particularly complicated, but each taking some time. I ended up blanching them on the weekend and then finishing them off a few days later, with no impact to the finished product. It’s a good way to have a fresh, hot, fancy-schmancy side dish in the amount of time it takes to finish the entree.
To start, you will need some sprouts. We had about 2 lbs. of sprouts. Trim them of their little stems and then peel off any loose or browning leaves. Submerge the Brussels spouts into rapidly boiling salted water for 6-8 minutes, or until almost tender. Immediately remove and shock with cold water to stop the cooking process. After this, you can stop for a day or so. Drain the sprouts and refrigerate until you are ready to proceed.
To finish, you will need:
2 lbs of blanched Brussels sprouts
1 T softened butter
4 T melted butter, divided
salt and pepper
1/2 c grated Swiss cheese
1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Smear the 1 T melted butter all over the inside of a casserole baking dish or Dutch oven. Additionally, smear butter onto one side of a piece of parchment paper that will fit on top of the sprouts. Arrange the sprouts in the casserole. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 2 T melted butter. Lay the buttered paper over the spouts and heat over a stove burner until the spouts sizzle (1-2 minutes). Carefully place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the casserole. Remove the paper and discard. Carefully and quickly scoop the spouts into a bowl. Layer half the cheeses in the bottom of the dish. Add the spouts back to the dish, and layer the other half of the cheeses on top. Drizzle with another 2 T melted butter. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese browns.