Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Bake

The following tasty vegetable bake, was inspired by Mac n’ Cheese dish, with its cheese sauce and crispy topping. Here, instead of pasta, I used a mixture of steamed cauliflower and fresh, thinly sliced, Brussels Sprouts, for different textures and colors.
The combination worked beautifully together with the rest of the additions: the vegetables absorbed the light cheese sauce, which was flavored with nutmeg and mustard, while the crispy topping, made of almonds, Parmesan cheese and Panko breadcrumbs, gave the needed crispy contrast.
The dish can be  served as a vegetarian main course, as part of a brunch buffet, or, as I’ve done here, as side dish, with crusted fish, or any other protein. Try it and enjoy.

Notes:
* While frozen cauliflower can substitute the fresh one used here, when it comes to the Brussels Sprouts, it’s important to use fresh. The frozen ones have mushy texture and retain too much water.
* I highly recommend buying cheese in block and grate it, or chop it finely in a food processor, before using. Store bought pre-grated cheese contain additives that prevent the cheese from melting smoothly.
* The topping also works well as a crust for baked fish: place any flat white fish fillet in an oiled pan, add the mixture on top and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the hot oven in the last 10 minutes of baking of the bake, and serve together.

Makes: 8-12
Prep time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 small cauliflower head
½ tsp salt
12 oz (340 grams) fresh Brussels Sprouts
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
¼ cup flour
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly grated four peppers mix
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1½ cups whole milk, at room temperature
2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 oz (170 grams) sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
For the topping:
½ cup raw almonds, skin on
3 oz (85 grams) Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly grated four peppers mix
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs

1. With a sharp knife, remove the cauliflower core and cut into florets. Wash and place in a large flat pot, in one layer. Sprinkle the salt over and add ½ cup water, cover and steam over high heat, for about 10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender, but still keeps its shape. Cool to room temperature, and cut into small pieces. Place in a large bowl.
2. Cut off the Brussels Sprouts tops, cut in half, length wise, and slice thin. Add to the cauliflower bowl and mix.

3. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Line a 7” x 11” (18cm x 28cm) pan with baking paper.
4. Melt the butter in a medium flat pot, over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, mix the flour with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to the butter and whisk to incorporate. Lower the heat to medium low. Gradually, and while whisking constantly, add the milk and mustard. Mix and cook until a thick sauce is formed. Add the cheeses, and whisk until they melt, and the sauce is smooth. Take off the heat, taste and adjust flavors, if needed.

5. Add the vegetables into the pot with the cheese sauce. Mix well and transfer into the baking dish. Level the top with a spatula.
6. In a small food processor, fitted with the metal blade, process together the almonds and Parmesan cheese to a coarse mixture. Place in a bowl and add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and Panko. Mix and sprinkle evenly over the top. (If preparing the fish, leave ¼ cup of the mixture on the side. See notes.).

7. Bake for 40 minutes, until the topping is golden. Serve warm.

 

 

41 thoughts on “Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Bake

  1. Eha says:

    Here in Australia mac n’ cheese is not made anywhere as often as in the States. It has not found a place on my menus. This dish and the method of its preparation I do find interesting tho” and shall certainly try. Love both vegetables tho’ shall have to wait a few months for them to be at their best . . .and very much like your almond, cheese and panko crust . . . thanks !

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats says:

      Thank you Eha, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Mac n’ cheese is indeed more popular in the USA than in an other country, with many regional versions. The crispy crusted fish was an afterthought addition, but was well received. Hope you’ll enjoy the dish once you’ll have all the right ingredients for it. 🙂

      Like

  2. Donna says:

    I love the combination of cauliflower and brussel sprouts, I never would have thought to put them together. I especially like the crumb mixture recipe, not only does it look delicious but it’s a keeper. It seems very versatile as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cookingwithauntjuju.com says:

    I’ve combined cauliflower with other veggies but never brussel sprouts – great idea! I always prefer to get fresh veggies as so many of the frozen ones are watery, flavorless and mushy! Almost bought some fresh ones recently – I miss the smaller ones you can get around the holidays 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronit Penso Tasty Eats says:

      Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. This combo worked so well. I was actually planning on making the dish with cauliflower only, but when I saw these nice fresh Brussels sprouts at the store, I thought they could fit perfectly in – and they did!
      I’m also not a huge fan of most frozen veggies,. Fresh is definitely first priority! 🙂

      Like

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