Sprout, Leek & Hazelnut Gratin


Gratin, meaning a dish with a lightly browned crust of breadcrumbs or melted cheese, is the ultimate side dish for Christmas dinner. I like mine with a good quality cheddar cheese and hazelnuts for a fancy, festive twist.

  • 500g Brussels sprouts
  • 60g blanched hazelnuts
  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 400g full fat milk
  • 50g white wine
  • 100g Davidstow® 12 Month Mature cheddar, grated
  • 150g white leek sliced (discard the green part)
  • 20g chopped sage
  • 30g chopped parsley
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • Fine salt and white pepper
  • Preheat a fan assisted oven to 170°c. Quarter the Brussels sprouts and cook in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Plunge them into ice water to retain their colour and to stop them cooking.
  • Once cool, drain them well and roast in a frying pan with butter until they are lightly roasted and golden brown. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Allow to cool. Now crush these roughly. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat add the white wine. Cook this out for 1-2 minutes, stirring well. Now gradually add the milk, stirring continuously to ensure you get a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and simmer very gently, stirring continuously. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the grated cheese and stir in well. Season with salt and white pepper.
  • Sweat off leeks without colour, add Brussels sprout quarters, mix together and remove from the heat. Add crushed roasted hazelnuts and chopped herbs. Place the mixture into a small gratin or earthenware dish. Now pour over the warm cheese sauce. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs and some more finely grated Davidstow® 12 Month Mature cheddar. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown.
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