Smoky Brussels Sprout Gratin
There are two cheeses in this gratin: smoked Gouda in the sauce and salty aged Gouda sprinkled on top. Other melting cheeses, such as Gruyere and fontina, won't have the same smoky flavor but are good alternatives to the smoked Gouda; on top, try freshly grated Parmesan.
For the Bechamel
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2/3 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (2 ounces)
For the Brussels Sprouts
- Coarse salt
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
For Assembling the Gratin
- 2/3 cup finely grated aged Gouda (2 ounces)
- Smoked flaked sea salt, such as Maldon (optional) or regular sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture bubbles slightly but has not started to brown, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking often. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Add smoked Gouda and stir until melted.
Meanwhile, blanch the brussels sprouts: Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook brussels sprouts until just tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to an 8-cup (8-by-12-inch) baking dish.
Assemble the gratin: Pour bechamel over brussels sprouts and sprinkle with aged Gouda and a pinch of smoked sea salt. Bake, uncovered, until bubbling and golden, about 25 minutes.