Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The new "It" Veggie-Brussels Sprout

I gotta tell you, I am just loving Brussels sprouts (Can be spelled many ways, but the s should always be at the end of Brussel since the plant was named after the Belgium city Brussels)!  Of course as a kid or even a teen or college grad, I was disgusted by this vile veggie (first known use of Brussels Sprout was used in 1796 ) (and some sources go further back to the 1500's and even earlier).  My sister on the other hand loves Brussels Sprouts, and I decided that I would continually eat them no matter how much I hated them, so I could in turn learn to like them.  Brussels Sprout seems to be the new innovative veggie!  Different sauces from different lands, popular chefs at popular restaurants serving them roasted or grilled or even steamed, caramelized and candied.  I guess you could say I forced myself to like Brussels Sprouts, and now I'm loving them!  It's the perfect side dish and for some weird reason no one can turn down a side order of an interestedly concocted dish of Brussels sprout.  Who would have thought this veggie (actually a plant derived from the mustard family that bears small edible green heads on its stem and part of the cabbage family) would be the "now" and "on trend" veggie.

Hot spot restaurants like ABC Kitchen in Gramercy and Beauty and Essex located on the Lower East Side, NYC have some mean sides of roasted Brussels sprouts (yum, so good!), so does Jane a fabulous brunch spot in Noho, NYC amongst a plethora of other restaurants world wide.  I went to a great restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana called The Domenica and they had a fabulous side of Brussels sprouts as well! 

And...tons of bloggers are posting yummy recipes!  Brussels Sprouts are everywhere, and as I see are making a major comeback.

I now even buy them in the supermarket, easily put them in the oven at 400 degrees with a little salt, pepper, splenda and olive oil and roast till the outer leaves are crisp/brown about 10-35 minutes depending on how roasted you want them-and you have yourself a healthy side dish to your meal.  Sprinkle some Balsamic Vinegar on those babies and you have yourself a treat!

And I think with all the hype these days on the sprouts I think they can even be kid-friendly if they are candied or roasted in a delicious sweet sauce.

Here are a few tantalizing recipes for Brussels Sprouts:

ABC Kitchen Restaurant's Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe (for this recipe swap out the red wine vinegar if it bothers you for cider vinegar, and swap out the brand they use for a gluten-free version such as Annie's GF Mustard (Dijon or Yellow).

And for a simple recipe found in the March 26th, 2012 issue of People Magazine that I happened to find:

Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4-6

2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
4 tbsp. olive oil Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Kosher salt
6 basil leaves, torn
1/2 chili pepper, chopped (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  2.  On a baking sheet, toss sprouts with olive oil and 1 tsp. salt.  Roast for 35-40 minutes.  Outer leaves should be crispy.  3.  While hot, place sprouts in a mixing bowl.  Stir in 1/2-1/4 cup sweet chili vinegar (see below homemade recipe).  Stir in lemon juice and zest.  Add salt to taste.  Garnish with basil leaves and chili pepper if desired.

Sweet Chili Vinegar:

Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup white wine vinegar (can also use Cider vinegar if sensitive), 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 1/2 tsp. crushed dried red pepper, 1/2 tsp head garlic, minced in a saucepan, and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.

I hope you enjoyed your lesson on Brussels sprouts today!
xoxo Julie

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