How’s your week going?
I’m still sorting though photographs of our California trip and hope to share a few soon. The bags are unpacked and the sand…. I think it’s been cleaned out of everything.
This week, I’m feeling the squeeze.
The squeeze of holidays approaching. I’m looking forward to them for sure, but feel like there’s so much I want to accomplish before they arrive. How about you?
Brussels sprouts seem like a holiday no-brainer, but for me they’re something more. A quintessential piece to a holiday meal, they are never boring, versatile and so simple to dress up.
I didn’t discover the beauty and flavor of Brussels sprouts until several years ago when I saw them at the farmers market. I always turned my nose up previously, just because they were unfamiliar and I didn’t know what to do with them.
There was a time in my adult life when I didn’t know Brussels sprouts from kale.
So, I started researching how to prepare the cute little mini cabbages. Looking online and in cookbooks opened up a world of new ideas and ways to enjoy them.
Usually, Brussels sprouts can be purchased on or off the stalk. When buying Brussels sprouts, look for firm heads that are compact and vibrant green. Off the stock, choose sprouts that are of equal size so that they cook evenly.
I’ve stored fresh sprouts in the refrigerator for up to a week, with good results.
This recipe is quite versatile. I’ve made it with apples and pears, pecans instead of hazelnuts and a little drizzle of maple is quite tasty for a sweet touch.
I imagine rosemary instead of thyme would be delicious too.
The sprouts’ leaves and outer edges crisp up while the insides remain tender. The pear offers a bit of caramelized sweetness while the thyme, shallot and seasonings pull it all together. Hazelnuts (or pecans) add a delicious earthy crunch. Roasted Brussels Sprout and Pear with Thyme has a memorable contrast of texture and flavor.
Just don’t forget to sprinkle the nuts on before you serve (or photograph!) them…
And should you need more Brussels sprouts inspiration, these recipes have fueled my Brussels cravings:
Shaved Brussles Sprouts Salad with Wild Rice and Apples from The Clever Carrot
Cabonara Pasta with Charred Brussels Sprouts from Foodie Crush
Roasted Brussles Sprouts from Floating Kitchen
Roasted Brussles Sprouts with Red Pear and Gorgonzola from Inspired Edibles
Maple & Dijon Roasted Brussles Sprouts from She Likes Food
Five Spice Hoisin Roasted Brussles Sprouts from Foodness Gracious
Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? How’s your planning going?
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pears with Thyme
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts trimmed and sliced in half, 450g
- 1 Bosc Pear cored and sliced 1/4" thick lengthwise, 300g, 2 if small
- 1 Large Shallot sliced thin, 78g
- 7 Sprigs of Thyme plus a few more for garnish
- 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Black Ground Pepper
- 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1/2 C Hazelnuts whole or Pecans, rough chopped, 50g
- Preheat oven to 425F (218C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Gently toss Brussels sprouts, pears, shallots, thyme, salt and pepper, and olive oil together on the sheet pan and spread evenly (if doubling the recipe, use two sheet pans).
- Roast on center rack for 20-25 minutes rotating the pan 1/2 way through roasting. Leaves will be crispy and the pears are slightly caramelized.
- Toast the hazelnuts or pecans in same oven for the last 7-8 minutes of roasting. If using hazelnuts, and while the hazelnuts are still warm, place them in the center of a kitchen towel and bring the corners up together. Gather the towel just above the hazelnuts while closing the towel tightly with one hand. Rub the bottom of the towel with the other hand, agitating and rubbing the hazelnuts together in order to remove their skins. Open the towel and remove the hazelnuts that have almost all their skin gone. Repeat the process at least two more times. Rough chop the hazelnuts.
- Drizzle the lemon juice over the sprouts and pear, toss in the nuts. Gently turn the veggies and fruit over using a spatula, taste for season adjustments.
- Garnish with extra springs of thyme. Serve immediately.