Jessica Watts (jessicawatts) wrote,
Jessica Watts

Surprising Sprouts

Here's a quick post to tell you about the delicious Brussels sprouts I had with the chicken cacciatore last week.  It's very rare for my family to rave about a vegetable, but there were many compliments about the little green guys, and coming from people who had sworn them off? Except covered in cheese whiz? I was shocked and very pleased.

I got this recipe from Heidi Swanson's new cookbook. I picked up up shortly before I left for the UK and left it here during my trip so I actually hadn't used it yet. I am a huge fan of Heidi's blog, so had high hopes for this book. It is vegetarian, in essence, but many of the recipes can be converted into meat recipes, if you so desire. Despite not being vegetarian, I picked up this book hoping it would give me new ideas on how to incorporate more vegetables into everyday suppers and also introduce me to new types of fruits, vegetables and grains. There are tons of recipes I can't wait to try.

Heidi is a great authority on how to cook new and exciting grains and she uses a wide variety of exotic sounding flours in her baking. She does write quite a bit about nutrition as well. I'm always sceptical when cookbook authors try their hand at informing the public about diets, but Heidi's approach sensible. While I don't agree with everything she says, I do appreciate her efforts at incorporating more whole ingredients (grains, flours) to her cooking.

I will reserve my judgement on her book until I've tried more recipes but, so far, so good!

These Brussels sprouts were delicious and had a nice crisp, firm texture. They were not the soggy, over-cooked sprouts I remembered from the past. I don't think I will go back to eating them any other way but lightly steamed, with a bit of lemon, similar to what Vincci recommended in her lovely comment on the last post.

Lastly, please forgive my poor photographic talents, they taste much better than they look. But you should see the picture of this recipe in Heidi's book. Her book is honestly worth it for the photos alone! So give Brussels sprouts a second chance - they just might surprise you.

Recipe - Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking
Serves 4

24 Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon canola oil + a little bit more
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

Trim the Brussels sprouts, discarding the outer leaves and cutting off the stem. Cut in half, lengthwise, and brush the cut very lightly with the oil.

Heat the tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. (Make sure it's medium, not hotter. I didn't trust the recipe and had the pan too hot when I did mine, so they browned too quickly). Place the Brussels sprouts, cut side down in the pan and sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook for 5 minutes (the bottoms should be very slightly browned).

Now taste one of the Brussels sprouts, they should be just tender. Now turn the heat to high and caramelize the cut size, cooking until it's a deep brown colour. Once that's done, toss the sprouts around to get some colour on the other side too. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the cheese, giving it all a good stir. Serve immediately.
Tags: brussels sprouts, heidi swanson

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