Have you noticed how vegetables come and go in popularity just like clothing styles? In the past couple of years, Brussels sprouts and green beans have made a definite comeback, and today I want to share two favorite discoveries for how to dress up Brussels sprouts beyond the usual way of steaming them. The first discovery was at a little restaurant in San Diego’s Old Town last year, where we had the most scrumptious Brussels sprouts I’d ever eaten. They tasted almost candied. After experimenting, I’ve developed a recipe that’s at least close enough to make me happy: Wash and trim one pound of Brussels sprouts, cutting each in half length-wise. Sauté them in lots of butter with onions and garlic until tender and well browned. Sprinkle liberally with brown sugar, salt, pepper, and walnuts, and continue browning them until the sugar has caramelized and coats the sprouts. This may not be among the world’s healthiest ways to serve a veggie, but I guarantee it will be a crowd pleaser for anybody who fancies Brussels sprouts.Another popular way to serve Brussels sprouts is roasted in the oven with butter, salt, and pepper. They’re yummy and healthy. However, if you want to dress them up sometime and add a twist of flavors, try this: Wash, trim, and slice one pound of Brussels sprouts into about 4 length-wise pieces each. Mix with a large apple cut into 1-inch cubes. (We love honey crisps, but probably any apple you like will do.) Add 1/2 cup dried fruit (cherries, cranberries, blueberries, or what have you) and 1/2 cup of your favorite nuts (walnuts are hard to beat). Mix with 1/3 c. melted butter, 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar, 1/3 c. brown sugar and liberal doses of onion and garlic powder plus a hint of cinnamon. Spread on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 350° for 20-30 minutes, turning them once or twice to make sure they brown evenly. Don’t overcook them! Once they start to brown, they’re done. Enjoy!
“He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15).