I popped into Sainsbury’s on my way back from a trip to Somerset on Sunday and found a packet of Brussels sprouts in the bargain section – 300g reduced from 80p to 19p – so I decided to use them in a vegetable bake. Added to a few florets of cauliflower (taken from a cauliflower I’m planning to use for cauliflower steaks later in the week) and some broccoli (left over from Saturday’s soup) this makes a nutritious and comforting vegetarian meal for only about £1.20 per portion.
Frying the Brussels sprouts in shallots or onions first rather than blanching them means they keep their texture – who likes overcooked, watery sprouts? I’ve added a very generous amount of toasted pine nuts and sunflower seeds for a nutty tasting crunchy topping but you could use bread crumbs instead (or in addition to the nuts and seeds – this would pad out the dish and bring the cost down to below £1 a portion).
I kept the cauliflower and broccoli cooking water which I made into vegetable stock (to freeze in ice cube trays for another time).
- 300g Brussels sprouts, washed, outer leaves removed and halved
- Third of a cauliflower, broken into florets
- Handful of broccoli florets
- 2 shallots or small onion finely chopped
- Large knob of butter
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- Half pint of milk
- 2 heaped tablespoons grated cheese (I used a mix of cheddar and Parmesan)
- Teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- 2 heaped tablespoons pine nuts and sunflower seeds
- Teaspoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C.
- Cook the cauliflower and broccoli in boiling water for about five minutes.
- Heat the oil and cook the shallots/onion until soft. Add the Brussel sprouts and season well with salt and pepper and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Make the sauce by melting the butter and mixing in the flour. Cook for a few minutes before adding the milk gradually and whisking until thick. Add the mustard and cheese (keeping some back later for the topping) and season to taste.
- Pile all the vegetables into an oven proof dish and pour over the sauce.
- Toast the pine nuts and sunflower seeds by frying in a dry pan for about five minutes. Sprinkle over the mixture and top with a little bit more of the cheese.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until browned on the top and bubbling.