Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oh What a Side!

Brussel sprouts are a completely underrated vegetable. They can come out bitter if not treated correctly, and are also often overcooked to the point of no return, resulting in mushy, brown remnants of what were once beautifully green mini cabbages (if not cooked correctly, that is). Though there are many ways to cook them, here is one of my favorite ways, I call it a "flash braise" because of the addition to water to the hot pan, allowing the brussels to absorb it, cooking it quickly without sacrificing many nutrients. After all, steaming can be, well, boring. I infuse the brussel sprouts with garlic, lemon juice, and lemon zest, just for a little hit. Don't forget to season well with salt and pepper or you will fall victim to the awful, under-seasoned vegi. This method can really be used for any green vegi (string beans, snap peas, asparagus, kale). So quick and easy, healthy, and goes alongside practically anything. Even tofu (stay tuned for my next post which will be some killer tofu recipes. [Though it may actually kill some of you to try them, and those of you know who I am referring to!!!!])

Lemon-Garlic Brussel Sprouts
-1 lb brussel sprouts
-Olive oil
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-2 tbsp. finely chopped flat leaf parsley
-4 cloves finely minced garlic (roughly 1-1.5 tbsp. or so)
-1.5 tsp lemon zest (from about half a lemon)

-Cut the very ends of the core off each brussel sprout (dont go too deep though, otherwise will fall apart). Trim the outer leaves, if they are bruised, & slice each sprout into about 3 or 4 slices, depending on their size (lengthwise).
-Soak for a while in water with a capful of vinegar in a salad spinner. Drain, rinse, and spin dry well.
-Heat some olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the brussel sprouts, stir to coat with the oil, cook 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
-Slowly add 1/4 cup of water, and let saute until the brussel sprouts are tender, and the water evaporates (5-6 minutes).
-Stir in the parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and some of the lemon zest (leave some for serving), and saute 30 seconds-1 minute until the garlic is pretty much cooked and becomes fragrant. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.
-Transfer to a serving dish, and sprinkle with the rest of the lemon zest.
-Immediately before serving, top the sprouts with some lightly toasted slivered almonds (optional). They give the brussel sprouts an unexpected crunch (Not shown in picture).

Try this side for Thanksgiving, it wont disappoint.


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