This is the one. The one we’ve all been waiting for. This is my absolute favourite way to eat Brussels Sprouts, and that includes this incredible dish that my sister makes with brussels and bacon and maple syrup.
Think about it, tender but still firm brussels sprouts slathered in a creamy, subtly cheese-flavoured bechamel sauce and topped with a scattering of crunchy, sweet hazelnuts. SWOON. The textures, the tastes, the blanket of heavenly sauce. Now THIS is something to be thankful for.
The other major bonus with this sucker is that you can do the whole thing the day before (or even a couple of days before) Thanksgiving and then just chuck it in the oven for 20 minutes before dinner. It’s perfect, because by that point your Turkey should be out and resting, the oven should be freed up, and this is one less thing you have to worry about.
Plus I love the idea of incorporating nuts into my holiday meals; especially Thanksgiving which is all about celebrating the bounty of the earth. Hazelnuts are my favourite nut-bounty, but I think almonds might also be great here.
Feel free to switch it up with the cheese too, parmesan or gruyere would add something special, but I went with a mild cheddar for ultimate creaminess. Either way this, is just a little something different and delicious! I hope you try it!
- 1 pound (450g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 heaped tbsp flour
- 1½ cups (375ml) milk (I used full-fat milk, but any would do)
- salt and pepper
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- ½ cup grated mild cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup whole hazlenuts, chopped
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the brussels sprouts and cook for five minutes. Drain immediately, and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour and whisk to combine.
- Begin adding the milk, a little bit at a time, whisking in between additions and waiting for each portion of milk to be completely absorbed before adding more.
- Once all the milk is in, bring the sauce to the boil and turn off the heat. It should be the consistency of custard. Season the sauce with a pinch of salt and some pepper, and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
- Finally, add in the grated cheese and stir gently until the cheese is melted.
- Place the brussels sprouts into a small rectangular dish or a pie pan, reserving a few halves for the top, and pour over the cheese sauce scatter on the hazelnuts, do the top with the reserved sprouts and bake for 20 minutes at 200C/400F or until golden and bubbling.
- NOTE: If you want to make this ahead of time, let the cheese sauce cool , then assemble the dish completely, wrap it in plastic and store in the fridge. On the day you want to eat, take it straight out of the fridge, unwrap and throw in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.