Friday, January 16, 2015

Foodie Friday: Brussel Sprouts

For some reason, my parents never served brussel sprouts when I was a kid. It's a classic joke how gross they are (along with lima beans), so I just always assumed that yeah, they must be horrible. 

I don't recall eating a brussel sprout until I was somewhere in my late twenties, when they had become kind of trendy. Roasted, with fantastic seasonings, like balsamic vinegar and/or bacon.

I was surprised to find that I really liked them....and not just because of the vinegar and bacon....later I had them steamed (or maybe it was boiled) from a British-style pub and I still enjoyed them. I suppose it might help that I already love vegetables like cabbage and broccoli. Stinky veggies do not deter me. 

I also like that brussel sprouts are small, cute, and chewy. There's something very satisfying about their chewiness. It's a workout for the jaws. 

I've had a couple of experiences where I thought I might have a  medical addiction to brussel sprouts. If you just put olive oil, salt and pepper on them, and roast them until they're a little burned, they taste like popcorn. One day I could NOT stop eating them....and I paid dearly for it later that day. Because you see, brussel sprouts have a lot of FIBER, my friend. And if you're not accustomed to a lot of fiber, your intestines will not process it quietly. Just a warning. 

These brussel sprouts were roasted with grapes, garlic, and pecans and then blue cheese was added later. Purple grapes would add more color variation, but I used green. These are delicious and roasted grapes are surprisingly exciting. A very easy, hearty, seasonal side dish. 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Grapes, and Pecans with Blue Cheese
  • 2 pounds brussel sprouts, cleaned and ready to roast
  • 8 ounces grapes
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 4 ounces blue cheese crumbles
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with foil. 
  2. Trim the ends off your brussel sprouts, slice them in half, and place them on the baking sheet. 
  3. Add the grapes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Mix it all together with your hands and spread the mixture evenly on the baking sheet. 
  4. Roast for about 15 minutes. 
  5. Then add the pecans. 
  6. Roast for 15 minutes longer (or until desired roasted-ness). 
  7. Once the sprouts have a cooled a tiny bit (or not), add the blue cheese crumbles. 
  8. Mix it all together and serve!
Probably serves about 6-8. 

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