It all started when I last went vegetable shopping and found one of the stalls at my market had Brussels sprouts on display. Brussels sprouts are one of those non-Indian vegetables which are now being grown in India. Since they’re usually bought by the starred and fancier restaurants, Brussels sprouts are very expensive and usually bought in bulk by them. Yet I am beginning to see more and more unusual vegetables and fruit (unusual for India), such as zucchini, asparagus, broccoli and varieties of lettuce, to mention a few.
Having seen Brussels sprouts on a lot of food sites and blogs, and hearing them raved about, I wanted to buy some to see for myself if the hype was worth it. They were pretty expensive, and after some bargaining (and maybe he wanted to sell them off) and though they were still on the expensive side, I came home with a small stash of the stuff.
So Brussels sprouts look like miniature cabbages, and I was pretty sure they tasted a lot like them too. The usual way I cook cabbage is Indian style and I wanted to see how these “little cabbages” could be cooked differently. I saw a lot of recipes which mostly seemed pair the Brussels sprouts with bacon which wasn’t acceptable for obvious reasons. I saw quite a few salad recipes but I didn’t think I’d be able to serve them successfully in a largely non salad loving household. Some of the pasta recipes looked good but since I wanted to serve the Brussels sprouts as a side with a pasta main dish, this choice was out.
Then I saw a recipe for a gratin, which didn’t have cheese or milk or cream which was just what I was looking for to serve with pasta. I have been under the impression that a gratin should have cheese and cream (or milk) because all the gratins I have seen so far have been of this type. It turns out that I was mistaken and a gratin refers to the breadcrumb and butter topping which is browned under a grill (or broiler) to provide crunch to a casserole of any type!
I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it vegetarian and put my own twist to it. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on which way you look at it considering how much this vegetable costs, I don’t see myself buying it again.
I have to report that none of us really liked the Brussels sprouts as a vegetable and just found it to be like we had eaten a particularly strong smelling and tasting cabbage. I am someone who likes cabbage, yet I couldn’t find the slightest inclination to like it at any level except to say it looked cute which isn’t much of a recommendation!!
So this might end up being the only Brussels sprouts recipe on this site, unless I am convinced otherwise. No, I did not overcook it causing it to smell and taste funny which I was aware could happen. However, if you do like Brussels sprouts, then I can definitely recommend this recipe as our problem wasn’t with the dish but the vegetable itself.
Egg Free Brussels Sprouts Gratin (GF)
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsps cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp garlic paste (optional)
- 3 onions small , thinly sliced
- to taste black pepper Freshly ground ,
- to taste Salt
- 1/8 cup almonds slivered and toasted
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Steam cook or microwave the Brussels sprouts.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds, garlic paste and the onions. Sautxe9 the onions till they turn golden. Add the steam cooked Brussels sprouts, the salt and pepper. Stir well and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, till the Brussels sprouts start caramelising and turning brown. Add the slivered almonds, stir and take the pan off the heat.
- Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a baking dish and level it uniformly. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the breadcrumbs. Add a bit of salt and sautxe9 till the breadcrumbs are lightly toasted.
- Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the Brussels sprouts. Now add the grated cheese and cook under the grill (or broil) until the cheese melts and turns golden. This took mine 5 minutes but would depend upon your grill/ broiler.