Friday, November 21, 2008

Brussels Sprouts Almandine

I don't know what's in the water, but I've been craving foods that are much maligned by children across the nation. Brussels sprouts and tuna casserole were both on the menu this week, but rather than risk losing valuable readership busting out both at once, I'm parsing this out.

The fruit stand by our house (not a farmer's market, mind you) has a giant box of Brussels sprouts, still on the stalk, sitting out on SE 28th. I was out for a stroll last week and decided to bring a stalk home. I do love Brussels sprouts, and Scott recently admitted that ones he'd tasted didn't disgust him (and he'd just learned about the novel stalk-growth), so I figured I'd strike while the iron's hot.

I trimmed a bowlful of them off the stem, and started shaving them on the mandoline to make that salad in the November Gourmet. WAY too much work. I got through about 5 of them and switched gears. I just quartered the rest of them, quickly steam-blanched them and tossed them with walnut oil and salt. I incorporated the shaved bits and some finely ground almonds, and stuck the whole lot into the oven until the shaved bits and almonds were crispy-toasty brown and the sprouts had gone tender and nutty.

I never met a food I didn't like when I was a kid, but isn't it funny how some dislikes really stick with us as adults? Amy and Jonny's veal liver really brought out the picky kid in a lot of foodies, and I'm sure I'll get my share of people admitting they never liked Brussels sprouts. But isn't part of being a grown-up the power to try doing things your own way? Roast a Brussels sprout instead of boiling it all to fuck, and tell me it's not damn tasty.

23 comments:

Peter G said...

I love Brussels sprouts and I like your version with the almonds Heather. Bring on the tuna casserole...(you ain't losing me in a hurry!)...I actually just made tuna cakes...

Manggy said...

It must be the fact that we didn't have brussels sprouts when I was a kid but I don't see what's so offensive about it-- in fact, I think your roasted sprouts look pretty darn good. I'm intrigued by the mandoline-d salad, too :) But even as a kid I had my fair share of Brassicas and I loved them ALL. It's stuff like okra and bitter melon (yeah, they're fruits, they're Malva/Cucurbitaceae... but still icky "veggies"!!!) I can't stand! (Till today!)

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

I just discovered my love of bs last year. I love this with the almonds! My kids like them too. Lucky me. Can't wait for the tuna casserole!

peter said...

Love them, love them, love them. Roasting/caramelizing is surely the best way. Or, as google would have me type, "shorkle."

Syd said...

I'm pretty sure I've only had them "boiled to fuck" because I've never cared for them. But, I'd try this.

Now, the tuna casserole? I doubt there's ANYTHING you can do to one that would make me try it. We'll see...

Foodycat said...

Since I grew into the knowledge that my grandmother was a terrible cook, I have realised that the foods I didn't like as a child were actually just foods as cooked by her. So zucchini, cauliflower, brussels sprouts are all back on the agenda. And those look like delicious sprouts!

cookiecrumb said...

I'd REALLY rather hear about the tuna casserole.
:P

Brittany said...

I believe you, I just became a lover of these, only I have only tossed them in garlic and butter in a pan, so I am excited to try roasting them.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

I hated brussel sprout until about a month ago. It's one of those things I'd try once a year hoping that I'll like it better, and I guess all the suffering paid off. Now I can't get enough of them. Brussel sprout kimchee, brussel sprout coleslaw, sauteed brussel sprouts. I've even contemplated deep frying them... Will have to give this one a go.

Bellini Valli said...

My daughter the veggie Queen has reintroduced me to the dreaded sprout:D

Cynthia said...

I'm not a big fan of brussels sprouts and it does not grow naturally here, all imported. I like your dish though, makes me want to have some.

abadeeba said...

Roasted brussels sprouts... Word. That's the only way to do 'em. BTW, your word verification word of the moment is "POROONIC".

glamah16 said...

I do love my Brussel Spouts. I have some huge ones that I put in the freezer before I went away.I may steal this recipe for Turkey day.

Zen Chef said...

Those are the bomb!!
I love them, and roasting them until crisp on the outside is the way to go. Next time try this recipe..
http://chefsgonewild.blogspot.com/2007/10/asian-tapas-brussels-sprouts-20.html

I think you'll like it. :-)

Brittany said...

I think my parents assumed my sister and I would hate them and wanted to avoid the drama, because I have no memory of eating brussels sprouts as a child.
Which was stupid, as we both love them. Probably because I've never tasted them after they've been molested by boiling water for way too long.

I've also never tried them almandine sty-lee, which I must do...

Heather said...

Petah - Adding almonds made them sound like a real thing. Or calling them "almandine" did anyway.

Mark - The cucurbits are all good in my book, but I've never intentionally tried anything called "bitter". Okra is only good fried or pickled, in my opinion.

Judy - I think kids who have moms that can cook like a lot of things other kids don't. :)

Jube - The almond just added a nice nutty crunch, but shorkle indeed.

Syd - What if I told you the peas make it taste like pussy? That's just what I've heard. About tuna casserole in general, not mine in particular.

Alicia - Any vegetable can be redeemed if cooked properly. It's good to revisit.

Cookiecrumb - Oh, it's coming. It doesn't really make a pretty picture, but its' coming.

Brittany - Garlicky and pan-fried is the other way I really like them! The oven just buys me time to get the rest of dinner done.

Marc - Ooh, I like the idea of Brussels sprout kimchee.

Valli - That is so ironic. The daughter getting the mom to try a vegetable!

Cynthia - I don't know that I'd say they're worth importing, but the grass is always greener on the other side, eh?

Innagottabadeeba - If I could just have all crispy bits I'd be a happy camper.

M. Zen - That recipe makes so much sense! Spanish + Asian = best bar snacks ever! :)

Brit - Boiling water has a way of making any crucifer fucking nasty. Who wants to eat food that smells like sulfur?

Núria said...

I love Brussels sprouts but I'm the only one at home who enjoys them. Your way of roasting them with almonds looks exquisite to me!!!! Now that my lunches are spent in solitude... it's my opportunity :D

Thanks for the inspiration!

Brooke said...

I, like you, never met a food I didn't like. Vegetables were usually the first things to disappear from my plate because they were my favorite. I have a suspicion my parents hated brussels sprouts, which is why we never had them as kids. I love 'em though, especially roasted. Fuckin good eating.

Norm Schoen said...

Connor and his siblings call Brussel Sprouts "Little Green Balls of Death".

Darius T. Williams said...

Looks great - and I absolutely love brussell sprouts - like LOVE them!

cook eat FRET said...

i want the brussels sprouts right next to that veal liver

now that would be really wonderful...

Peter M said...

It's a sign that you're growing up...accept it along with a heaping spoonful of....brussel sprouts!

We Are Never Full said...

JUSt got back from a long week in england and am catching up on what i've missed here. thanks so much for the shout. it's SO true that people who think they hate things just need to try it prepared different ways to decide. sprouts can be pretty fucking nasty as jonny claims his grandfather used to not let him leave the table w/o finishing all of his. it sounded torturous for a kid - sitting there w/ 10 over-boiled, unseasoned sprouts and a stern old man staring you down. jonny says he used to just sit there chomping and chomping until the sprouts just creted this nasty, farty-tasting clump in his mouth. he'd want to die as he finally forced himself to swallow.

but, we love love love sprouts now. this way looks really good. i like carmelizing the cut side so they have a bit of color and crunch. the almonds are such a good addition. i just read a recipe using a lemon sauce for on top. PEOPLE NEED TO START FORGIVING THE SAD SPROUT AND JUST EAT THEM! they really are good (even if they do smell like farts and make you fart).

and here's another shameless plug for liver... give that one a try too kids.