Welcome back! I hope you all took a little time off over the holidays to enjoy family and friends. You deserved it. And though I missed you, dear Readers, I know we both needed a break.
You see, the holidays can totally overwhelm me. Sometimes I find the din unbearable. This time I decided to take action. Around Christmas time, I stopped reading food blogs, deleted a good part of my Inbox, and turned off my phone for a week.
It was bliss. I got a chance to recharge, without being constantly bombarded with exhortations and distractions. But I missed writing and teaching and especially cooking. When a friend asked me to sleuth out her favorite salad at a local Japanese restaurant, I was on the job in an egg-timer minute.
This recipe can be a side dish, a light lunch, or a maddening taunt, because you can’t get enough of these super crispy, sweet and sour little sprouts. The good news is that, though the restaurant version is clearly deep-fried, you can get the same crunchy ecstasy with a hot oven and a little prep time to separate the leaves (it took me just 10 minutes to get through the pound).
If you’re currently in diet rehab after a little too much holiday indulgence, be assured there is nothing unchaste about this recipe. Use my favorite oil for high-heat roasting (heart-healthy, skin-friendly, and luscious) and remove the leaves as they brown up. Then toss them with a simple glaze and you’ve got a dish worth getting back into the kitchen for.
Happy 2014, everyone. Here’s to a healthy, delicious ride!
Makes enough to serve 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main salad
1 pound Brussels sprouts, leaves separated using a sharp knife
1 bunch (about 6) scallions, green and white parts, sliced thinly
¼ cup raw almond slivers
3 tablespoons avocado oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon organic soy sauce or Tamari sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and set it on Convection if possible.
2. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the stems off the Brussels sprouts and peel away the outer leaves into a large bowl. Continue trimming the stems and peeling away the leaves, until the leaves no longer separate easily. Reserve the inner cores to roast another time.
3. Add the scallions and almonds to the bowl of leaves and toss with the avocado oil to coat evenly. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with pepper.
4. Bake the Brussels sprouts for about 15 minutes or until browned and crisped, tossing halfway through and removing the leaves as soon as they are ready (they may cook unevenly).
5. While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, combine the vinegar and soy sauce in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer over low heat until reduced to a syrupy consistency, 4 to 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Stir in the honey.
6. Place the Brussels sprouts on a serving platter and drizzle with some of the balsamic-soy syrup to taste; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Are you hooked on Brussels sprouts like the Farmgirl? Here are some other ways to enjoy them:
Congratulations to John Brindisi of Manhattan, New York and Debbie Harwood of Cornelia, North Carolina for winning my December Giveaway! They will be enjoying personalized copies of Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food (volumes I and II) and Dana Goodyear’s Anything That Moves. My January Giveaway will be posted soon!
Time to spruce up your cookware? Need to add some flair to your table? The Farmgirl Shop is now online! Come on in and take a look…
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