Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Veggie au gratin served with lamb, salad, and heirloom tomatoes

I had a delicious brussels sprouts casserole in New York at the Green Table restaurant in the Chelsea Market a few weeks ago and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  When I opened my farm box this week and spotted the brussels sprouts, I knew it was time to attempt a low-carb version.  Because I didn't want to make a bechamel sauce in the traditional au gratin spirit, I elected instead to use an egg-cream custard base for the dish.  While not as "saucy" as it might have been, it has excellent taste and was well-seasoned!

1.5 cups brussels sprouts, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
2-3 cups red chard, rinsed and chopped into large sections
1/2 to 3/4 cup scallions, or chopped onions
whole nutmeg
1 tablespoon dry curry mix
1 tsp creole seasoning (or other favored dry seasoning)
sea salt
4-5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cream
1 tablespoon of red sauce (optional)
1.5 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of Manchego, sharp cheddar, and parmesan)
grapeseed oil

Heat a large pan until medium high.  Add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil.  When oil begins to shimmer, add brussels sprouts and saute until some browning is visible.  Remove from heat into a separate bowl and allow to cool.  Add onions and cook until slightly browned, remove from heat into separate bowl.  Repeat with chard, but cook until just wilted.  Remove pan from heat.  Allow vegetables to cool until just warmer than room temperature.  Squeeze chard to remove excess juice.  Separate leaves slightly.

Pour combined egg/cream (spice) mixture into a 9x9 greased casserole dish.  Season with curry mix and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Once vegetables are cool, carefully distribute them over the surface of the egg mixture, beginning with chard, then brussels sprouts, then onions.  Lightly season with creole mix.  Sprinkle cheese over surface until it is covered.
Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes, then broil for 2-3 minutes to brown cheese.   Serve immediately.
 sauteed scallions
 brussels sprouts
 wilted sauteed chard
mixture of manchego and cheddar cheese

 egg/cream mixture
 red sauce (this is a home-canned version I picked up at the Farmer's Market)
 I layered the parmesan cheese over the egg custard prior to adding the vegetables
 adding the vegetables so they are evenly distributed throughout the casserole

 top with cheese mixture
grate a small amount of nutmeg over the cheese.
Nutmeg adds a wonderful aromatic element to the dish!

Heirloom tomato:  Yummy!
I never know how to cut one of these "curled up" tomatoes

I cut it into "sections", drizzled it with a small amount of lemony olive oil

added a sprinkle of sea salt, pepper, and some freshly chopped Italian parsley from the garden

Lamb chops were drizzled with a small amount of balsamic vinegar and a bit of lemon pepper dry rub,
then cooked on medium-high heat (pan seared) for about 3 minutes/side.  
Serve immediately.

*With the exception of the cheeses, all the fresh food came from my fresh delivery from Greenling.


  1. This looks so amazing! I can't wait to make the Brussels sprouts casserole. I've been living on quick meals this week, and I am really missing home cooked foods.

  2. When I make it again I will use less eggs, I think, and a bit more cream and/or half and half and more cheese. I thought it was good, but I believe it would be even better if it were less "eggy".