By Elke Probkevitz
I love Brussels sprouts. And not because I grew up eating them and learned to love them as a child; I actually never ate a Brussels sprout until I was married. I probably didn’t even like them the first time I had them. But like many vegetables that have a slight bitterness to them, if they are not cooked well they can easily dissuade diners from trying them again. When Brussels sprouts are prepared properly, they can sing. If you haven’t had a Brussels sprout you liked, give them another try. The right technique and a new recipe could surprise you.
Roasted. Roasting Brussels sprouts is usually the best way to go to create that crispy outer layer with a tender inside. It is amazing how delicious they can be simply halved, tossed with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, and roasted in a high-temperature oven until charred and tender. These roasted Brussels can be used in a number of ways: Dress them up with a vinaigrette, or add them to a lettuce salad or grain salad, like quinoa or faro, along with nuts, fresh produce, and a dressing.
Stovetop. On the stovetop, I prefer to prepare Brussels in a high-heat sauté pan to retain a texture with bite. Sauté a combination of aromatics like onions, shallots, garlic, and mushrooms. They can also be quickly steamed or boiled until tender and tossed with salt and butter or butter substitute or glazed with a brown butter or balsamic glaze. Cook thinly sliced Brussels to make a hash with chicken stock and white wine with a squeeze of lemon. Leaves can be wilted on the stovetop in olive oil and tossed into a pasta dish.
Raw. Slice Brussels sprouts thin or shave them with a peeler or in a food processor and leave them raw to eat tossed with a flavorful dressing with a lot of spice or sharp cheese. Combine with cut grapes and chopped nuts or add them to leafy greens with a honey-mustard vinaigrette. Shred leaves to make a delicious slaw. v
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pears And Pistachios
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
black pepper to taste
1 pear, such as Bosc, halved lengthwise and cored
¼ cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
½ lemon, juiced
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a lined baking sheet, allowing oil to spread around the pan, and add pear halves, cut-side down. Roast for 20 minutes, turn sprouts with a spatula, and roast another 10 minutes. Toss sprouts again, flip pear halves, and reduce heat to 375°. Add pistachios to toast, 5 more minutes. Remove pan and squeeze lemon over everything. Chop pear and toss with sprouts and pistachios.
Want to learn how to cook delicious gourmet meals right in your own kitchen? Take one-on-one cooking lessons or give a gift to an aspiring cook you know. For more information, contact Take Home Chef personal chef services by calling 516-508-3663, writing to elke@TakeHomeChef.net, or visiting www.TakeHomeChef.net.