Oh Brussels Sprouts!
Growing up, the thought of eating a Brussels sprout was 100% out of the question. Like many children and even many adults, Brussels sprouts are unappetizing and too "smelly" to eat. It was one of those vegetables that you would "pretend" to eat, haha, sorry! Actually, many of the negative associations with Brussel sprouts come from overcooking the vegetable. Thankfully, with age the taste buds change, evolve, and better cooking skills are learned! It can be worth giving this food a second or even third chance! Soon enough this vegetable might just become a top 5 contender. It sure is in the LF kitchen!
If you're not a Brussels sprout eater, this recipe can help you make the switch! This is a perfect summer and or fall side dish, it's a little sweet and a little nutty. All simple flavors that are intended to pack a crispy punch.
Salt and pepper to taste
Prep: Fresh Brussel sprouts are always ideal! With a sharp knife trim the flat stump and remove the first layer of leaves. Leave the Brussel sprouts whole or cut into halves or even quarters. If there is any discoloration, just peel off another layer of leaves. The first step does depend on how the sprouts are purchased. Prepackage Brussel sprout might already have the stems trimmed, and all that is need is to be cut and peeled to get the freshest looking leaves. The leaves will fall off easily.
Oven Roasted: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or pan. Toss halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, and season with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. Roast in the oven until crispy and tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle with honey, add cranberries, and almonds. Return back to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven, toss and serve!
Pan Fried: Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add halved Brussels sprouts, season with a little salt, pepper, and garlic. Pan fry for about 20 minutes or until tender and crispy. To help with even cooking, place a lid over the pan and flip Brussels around a few times. Once ready, add honey, cranberries, and almonds. Toss and cook for an additional few minutes, then serve!
Note: Boiling and steaming are also safe methods of cooking Brussel sprouts.
You'll often see similar recipes with the addition of balsamic glaze and or vinegar. The balsamic gives another layer of sweetness but adds a hint of tartness to balance the flavors. Another ingredient that could also be added to this dish is goats cheese. Goats cheese adds a smooth and soft texture, plus it accompanies the other flavors well. Sadly, the LF kitchen was all out of goat cheese this time around. Also, experiment with different nuts, depending on what's available, walnuts would be a great alternative to the almonds. Just remember to keep things simple, use what's available and needed, and always enjoy the process!