I decided to try turning one of my favorite brussels sprout salad recipes (Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple Glazed Pecans from the November 2009 issue of Bon Appétit) into a warm side dish. The mustard, maple, and cream combination does wonders to both temper and enhance the natural sweet and bitter flavors of cooked brussels sprouts. If you want to keep the recipe vegetarian, substitute mushroom or a non-sweet vegetable broth for the chicken broth. I recently tried Melissa Clark's method for making bread crumbs using the grating disc of a food processor, and think it works beautifully. Use any method you'd like for making the bread crumbs -- but do make your own if possible. —hardlikearmour
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Between her Wintry Corn Bread Pudding and her Winter Fruit Salsa, hardlikearmour is prepared for cold weather ahead.
WHAT: If you love shaved brussels sprouts and you love gratin, we have something for you.
HOW: Slice your brussels sprouts super thin. Flood them in broth, cream, mustard, and maple syrup. Transfer to a baking dish, cover with buttery bread crumbs and pecans, and bake until dark and crispy on top.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We don’t miss the cheese in this gratin -- the combination of sharp mustard, sweet maple syrup, and slightly bitter brussels is enough to keep us happy (and the carpet of bread crumbs doesn’t hurt either). —The Editors
For the brussels sprouts:
low-sodium chicken broth or stock
maple syrup (grade B preferred)
freshly ground black pepper
For the gratin topping:
bread crumbs made from dry bread
unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons
(1/2 tablespoon) maple syrup (grade B preferred)
Preheat oven to 350º F with a rack in the middle or lower middle position.
Remove hard stem end and any bruised or wilted leaves from brussels sprouts. Shred them using the slicing disc of a food processor, alternately use a mandoline set at 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick, or slice them by hand. Set aside
Whisk together remaining brussels sprouts ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in the shredded brussels sprouts, then transfer mixture to a gratin or shallow baking pan (a 1-quart gratin or an 8-inch square baking pan). Spread in an even layer.
Combine the gratin topping ingredients in a medium bowl. Toss until the crumbs are well-coated and the mixture is homogenous. Sprinkle in an even layer over brussels sprouts.
Bake until the topping is golden brown in the center and dark golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes. [Editors' note: Our gratin took about 50 minutes to uniformly brown.] Rotate the pan after 20 minutes to promote even browning. Serve immediately.
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.