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Brussels sprouts are my new favorite vegetable and they are in season right now! You might just be turned off from the title of this post, but I urge you to give fresh Brussels sprouts a try. I can’t remember the actual moment I fell in love with the cute yet oddly shaped vegetables, but it was only a year ago. Last winter, I noticed them in the grocery stores, farmers markets, and restaurants. I must have ordered Brussels sprouts at one of San Francisco’s gourmet restaurants and decided that I had to recreate the dish at home. Aside from being super nutritious, they are really delicious if cooked properly. Another added bonus: Brussels sprouts take just as much time as cooking pasta and don’t require lots of prep work. Follow these simple Brussels sprouts tips to get you started on a positive relationship with the little green veggies.
1. Buy fresh and seasonal Brussels sprouts.
2. Use real butter or high quality olive oil.
3. Steam or boil them for at 3-4 minutes to remove bitterness
4. Add roasted nuts and seeds to enhance flavor and texture. Try pecans, hazelnuts, or pine nuts.
5. Dried fruits also enhance flavor and texture. Try cranberries, dried figs, pomegranates, or dates.
6. Lemon zest and juice enhance the flavor of almost any dish, without fail. Use fresh lemons.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Dill and Dates
Recently, I went to a cooking demo given by a friend, Teresa Piro, at We Olive SF. Teresa studied holistic nutrition, manages Oak Hill Farm’s CSA program, and has started Can Can Cleanse. This dish is elegant to serve as a side dish for a holiday meal yet simple enough to eat on a regular basis.
2 lbs Brussel sprouts, washed and trimmed
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil*
4-5 medjool dates, quartered
3 sprigs of fresh dill, washed and finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh (Meyer) lemon juice
½ cup of pecans, toasted and coarsely ground
1 tbs flaxseeds
1. Fill a large pot ½ full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes. Or steam them using a vegetable steamer for 5 minutes. Drain the Brussels sprouts in a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop them from cooking any further. Cut Brussels sprouts in half length-wise and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts and a pinch of sea salt and cook, stirring often, until edges begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Pour lemon juice over sprouts and stir well. Toss in the pecans, flaxseeds, dill and dates. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*You can also use a pure lemon flavored olive oil
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