Monday, 12 December 2011

For those that don't like sprouts: Sprout Gratin

Sprouts. You either hate them or you... well... you loathe them.

Ok, that might be a bit of bias coming from my side. Apologies. 

They're a festive tradition in our household. Every Christmas, and only at Christmas, I'll cook them - mainly for my Dad. So far, I've only discovered on way that I will eat them - in this gratin. I'm curious about having them raw in a winter salad, but I'm not quite brave enough to venture there yet. 

I drive past Diglake Farm on a regular basis. So, instead of picking up a bag of packaged sprouts from the supermarket, I got them from here. 

As I was prepping the sprouts, my mind started to wonder. "Sprouts are mini-cabbages. The sprout leaves are a bit cabbage-like too. I wonder if sprout leaves are edible?" And yes they are. Well the younger leaves are. They tasted not a lot like sprouts. And were quite pleasant.

Sprout Gratin

Serves 4-6 (depending how much you like sprouts)

500g-600g sprouts (about one stick), shredded
1 tbsp olive oil
100g soft French cheese, roughly cut up
300ml single cream
Few handfuls of dried breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven Gas 6 (200°C/400°F)

Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the sprouts quickly, just to soften them a bit. I did this in two batches.

Put the sprouts into a bowl. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Compact the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Press the sprouts down, but don't squash them.

Pour in the cream - you may not need it all.

Generously coat the top with the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until it turns golden-brown and the cheesy cream bubbles up.