Brussels Sprouts Gratin With Potatoes And Spinach

This recipe from Mollie Katzen´s The Heart of the Plate can be turned into a vegan dish if made with olive oil, soya milk and no cheese. For the breadcrumbs, toast two slices of whole wheat bread and crumble using a food processor. – Chicago Tribune/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Ingredients

2½ tbsp olive oil, or 1½ tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp unsalted butter
450g smallish potatoes, cut into 3mm-thick half circles (peeling is optional)
450g Brussels sprouts, trimmed, cut into 3mm-thick slices (include all the leaves that fall off while you´re cutting them)
2 cups chopped onion, about 1 large
1 tsp salt
2 tsp minced or crushed garlic
225g fresh spinach, baby leaves or coarsely chopped large leaves
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup cream, milk, half-and-half or soya milk
1 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1 packed cup grated Gruyere, about 110g, optional
Paprika, optional

Method

Heat the oven to 180°C, with a rack in the highest position possible that will fit your baking pan. Coat a 22cm by 33cm baking pan or equivalent gratin pan with about ½ tablespoon of the olive oil.

Heat a medium-large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and Brussels sprouts; cook until fork-tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain a colander, shaking to drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat for about a minute. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil (2 tablespoons, if not adding butter); swirl to coat the pan. Melt in the butter, if using, and swirl again. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the onion becomes very soft, verging on golden, about 8 minutes.

Stir in the garlic; lay the spinach on top to wilt. (It will quickly oblige.) Stir it in, along with the drained potatoes and sprouts, the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt, a generous amount of black pepper and the cream. Mix to get everything thoroughly distributed; transfer to the prepared pan. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed.

Sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and cheese; dust it lightly with paprika, if you like. Bake until the cheese is perfectly melted and turning golden, 15-20 minutes. Serve hot or warm.


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