If you ask people what their least favourite vegetable is, I’ll bet the top two answers are Brussels sprouts and spinach. This creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Spinach and Leeks just may win over a few haters. With zesty goat cheese and a crunchy Parmesan topping, who would be able to resist?
Start by cleaning and discarding any imperfect layers from the Brussels sprouts. Cut off the end and cut into quarters or halves, depending on their size. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop in the sprouts (and any loose leafs). Blanch them for 3 minutes, then drain and drop into a bowl of cold water with ice. This stops them from cooking any longer and helps preserve the nice green colour.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the spinach.
Carefully clean the leeks by slicing lengthwise to expose the layers and rinse under water, fanning them to ensure there’s no sand hiding between the layers. Starting at the white bottom, thinly slice the leek. Use only the white and light green parts. The darker end gets tough.
Next, sauté the leeks gently in butter until soft. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring for a few minutes. Stir in the milk and simmer until thickened. Remove from the heat and add Dijon, sour cream and goat cheese. Continue stirring until blended and goat cheese has melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Drain the Brussels sprouts well and add to the cream sauce along with chopped spinach. Blend well.
Pour into a shallow baking dish.
Buttered Breadcrumb Topping
The crispy topping totally takes this dish up a notch. Melt the butter and stir in breadcrumbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I like to use Panko breadcrumbs because they’re extra light and crispy. Spoon over the top of the dish evenly and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
If you’re going to cook it later after being refrigerated, cook for 40-45 minutes until the edges are bubbling and the top is browned. And don’t add the topping until right before baking, or it will get soggy.
The tangy goat cheese and sour cream in a thick, creamy sauce with a crispy topping make this Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Spinach and Leeks an irresistible vegetable side dish.
Here’s the recipe:
Brussels Sprouts Gratin with Spinach and Leeks
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, about 4 cups before cleaning
- 1 small leek, about 1 cup
- 2 cups loosley packed spinach leaves
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, about half of 113 gram package
- salt and pepper to taste
Buttered Breadcrumb Topping
- 1 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Clean sprouts and remove any marked outer leaves. Cut tough bottoms off and cut into half or quarters.
- Bring pot of water to a boil. Drop in Brussels sprouts and once water returns to a boil cook for 3 minutes. Drain and pour into an iced water bath.
- Clean and slice leeks. Saute gently in butter until soft. Add flour and cook for a few minutes, then add milk and simmer, stirring until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add Dijon, sour cream and goat cheese. Stir until melted and well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Drain Brussels sprouts well and add to cream sauce. Chop spinach and add to mixture. Pour into shallow baking dish.
- Prepare topping by melting butter, then adding breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Spoon over top of vegetable mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes until bubbling and top is browned.