In the Northern Hemisphere, the season for winter vegetables is upon us. Colourful cauliflowers, dark green kale and broccoli and stems of carrots fill the local farmers’ markers. Another favourite vegetable popping up on stalks are Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts have traditionally been given a bad rap. When we think of them, we think of stodgy, flavourless mush that we may have been force-fed as children. Like many things food, the way in which you prepare certain things can make or break it. Brussels sprouts falls into this category perfectly.
Today I want to showcase two great ways to eat these beauties. Both are intended to be eaten as a side dish or accompaniment to a main meal.
Pan-fried Brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
- ¼ of a white onion, chopped
- Brussels sprouts (one bag’s worth, or around 15 to 20 medium sized ones)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Chilli flakes
- Garlic powder (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat until the oil shimmers, and add the garlic, stirring until fragrant and brown, around 3 minutes.
Stir in the onion and cook until soft, stirring often.
Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, without stirring, until the undersides of the sprouts turn brown (around 5 to 7 minute).
Stir to turn the sprouts over, and cook the other sides until golden brown, another 5 to 7 minutes.
Season the sprouts with salt, pepper and garlic powder and serve.
* Note, the sprouts in this recipe can also be roasted. Use the same ingredients and roast the sprouts (either whole, halved or quartered) at 400 F for around 40 minutes. Check and turn after 20 minutes, as outer layers turn crispy and can burn easily.
Shaved Brussels sprouts salad with lemon and pecorino
This recipe is inspired by one of my favourite side dishes from Barbuto, a fabulous restaurant in the West Village. The pecorino gives this dish a divine salty kick. You can substitute this for parmesan if you prefer, however I find the sharpness of the pecorino offsets the earthy flavour of the sprouts.
- 1lb of Brussels sprouts, washed, core removed
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon of white wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon or more of sea salt
- ¼ cup of grated pecorino
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Finely chop the Brussels into fine ribbons. If you have a mandolin, you can use this also to achieve the same results.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, juice, salt, vinegar and olive oil. Mix thoroughly and drizzle over sprouts. Toss and leave to marinate for around five minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Toss through pecorino and pepper and serve.