Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Learning to LOVE Brussels Sprouts

Those mini green heads of cabbage never appealed to me growing up. They ranked as low as lima beans in my opinion back then. Now, however, I feel like their number one fan. So imagine how surprised and thrilled I was to discover that my kid gobbles up Brussels sprouts like they're going out of style. I attribute that to the way I cook them - sliced in half and roasted with a light coating of olive oil (you can also try olive oil infused with herbs, especially rosemary), a sprinkling of salt, a pinch of pepper, and a liberal amount of chopped fresh garlic in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Then, voila, out comes an irresistible caramelized, crispy concoction you can eat like popcorn or get fancy-ish and incorporate into dishes like pasta, frittatas, pizza, and more.

Recently I served the fam roasted Brussels with spaghetti and lentils, which provide a nice source of protein. The combo turned out to be a huge hit. It was even good the second day cold, right out of the fridge.

When I cook, I like to build big flavor and to that end I tend to use ingredients like garlic, herbs, vinegar, dressings, etc. For this Brussels sprouts dish, I used chopped onions during the roasting process and that added a whole other dimension of flavor - very tasty! I warmed up pre-cooked, packaged lentils from Trader Joe's on the stovetop and mixed in about 2 tablespoons of pre-made pesto from Whole Foods. I also splashed on a little red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing from Joe's. Before tossing everything together, I coated the cooked spaghetti (note about making pasta: always add a tablespoon of olive oil to the boiling water to prevent the pasta from sticking to itself after it's drained - my sis taught me that trick) with more dressing. I then threw everything into a big bowl, stirred it up, sprinkled on some grated parm and the masterpiece was complete. Easy, healthy, simple ingredients.

Here are some pics . . .

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