Roasted & Fresh Brussel Sprouts & Bacon Salad with Parm & Mustard Vinaigrette

Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Parmesan and Mustard Vinaigrette

Make the Mustard Vinaigrette first – at least an hour before serving. This makes enough dressing for several salads.

Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (to taste)

Stir mustard and vinegar together with a whisk, add oil slowly, whisking it int o emulsify. Add salt, pepper and crushed garlic. Let rest for at least an hour. Keep refrigerated.

Salad

Lay four strips of bacon on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400° until browned. Remove when finished (about 8 minutes) and set on a paper towel to cool.

While the bacon roasts, cut 2 cups of brussels sprouts in half, pulling off some of the outer leaves. Set the leaves aside.

Turn the oven up to 450°, toss the brussels sprout halves with 1 TBSP of bacon grease, salt and pepper and lay on a baking sheet to roast. These will be just roasted until done, not charred, so about 10 minutes max.

Bacon & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Parmesan and Mustard Vinaigrette

See that the brussels sprouts are only lightly browned.

Slice small pieces of parmesan and chop a bit of parsley.

To assemble the salad, lay down the brussels sprouts, the bacon, the parm, the loose, fresh brussels sprout leaves, the parsley and then add the dressing. Toss lightly.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts

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These were tasty when warm, but cold the next day they were so much, much better. They are very flavorful so just a couple satisfies your taste buds and make a good snack between meals.

First clean about a pound of brussels sprouts and cut off the stems. Put in a cooking pot with a liquid that is 1/2 white wine vinegar and 1/2 water – just enough to cover the sprouts. Add 1 thumb of ginger roots sliced into small toothpick size sticks, 1 jalapeño cut into strips about thumb length, add 1/2 of a yellow onion. I diced them, but next time I will cut into sections so they can be picked up with your finger or a toothpick. I cut a lemon into 1/4s and tossed it in. I added about 1/4 cup of sugar and salt and pepper and brought it to a boil. I let it continue to simmer until he sprouts were tender.  After it cooled, I poured into a storage container and let chill.

It’s spicy with great heat and flavor but not the least bit uncomfortably hot. The lemon and vinegar make is nice and tart for a fabulous sweet, sour and hot blend.

Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts

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This was a quick dish I threw together for lunch. I chopped up about 2 TBSP of yellow onions and sautéed them in 1 TBSP of olive oil. I added some salt and pepper. While the sautéed, I slice 4 mushrooms and added them and let them cook while I cleaned and sliced 8 brussels sprouts. I then added them to the pan, tossed in a little more salt and pepper and one diced clove of garlic and continued to cook, tossing lightly. When the veggies were tender, I squeezed the juice of 1/3 of a fresh lemon on top, tossed again before turning them into a bowl for lunch.

The mushrooms add a bit of earthiness and is there anything tastier than some lemon and garlic in oil on delicious fresh vegetables?

Sauéed Turnips, Carrots, Brussels Sprouts and Apple with Anise Seed

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I put some olive oil in a skillet and heated it with some peppercorns and anise seed until it was perfuming the air.

Then I added chopped onions (1/2 an onion) and one minced serrano chile and sautéed.

I cut up one small parsnip and 2 carrots into thumbnail chunks and added, with a bit of salt and pepper, and cooked until nearly done. Then near the end, I added about 6 brussels spouts that I had cut in half and an apple I cut into chunks and tossed them in to cook until tender. Tossed a bit of rice vinegar on to finish. Salt and pepper. This made two large servings.

This was the most delicious vegetable sauté I can remember. It was earthy and warm, piquant with the vinegar and parsnips. The brussels sprouts gave it a lovely earthiness and the chile gave it some heat. The sweetness of the carrots and apple added another flavor note.

I served it with a pork loin, but it is a vegan dish that you can serve with anything.

Brussel Sprouts with Fried Onions & Lemon Vinaigrette

Brussels Sprouts Salad

This tasty little salad was inspired by Kathryn LaSusa Yeomans salad with shallots. I used onions instead of shallots because that was what was on hand. I used more lemon juice and less olive oil than she does because that’s my personal preference. I wanted to try it with walnut oil but could not unscrew the top. I think it will take pliers! I also substituted pecans for walnuts because that is also my personal preference. Still, with all the changes, you can see her original inspiration in the final product.

First I sliced a small yellow onion into 1/4 inch slices and patted them dry and let the rest a bit so they could dry some more. I heated up peanut oil to 350° and fried the onions in the oil. Removing the onions to rest on old paper bags so the oil could be absorbed, I salted them lightly while still hot so the salt would stick.  After they were all fried and patted clean of oil, I let them rest.

Then I cleaned one pound of brussels sprouts. This preparation was different than usual. I cut off the stems and cleared away the outer leaves that were browned or blackened with age. Then I peeled the leaves off, one by one, until they were too tight to peel away. This central core, I chopped thinly with a knife. I tossed the leaves and chopped sprouts in a bowl. Frankly, this part was tiresome and made me long for a sous chef. However, the separate leaves add a lighter, loftier texture to the salad and the individual leaves are perfect for holding dressing. It was worth the effort. One thing made it easier. After peeling off a bunch of leaves, it was easier to peel off the middle leaves by cutting off a bit more of the stem.

Next I put some pecans in a dry pan on med-high heat to toast.

While the pecans toasted, I took a fresh lemon and grated the zest into the bowl with the brussels sprouts. I added a generous amount of grated black pepper and some salt. Then I squeezed the lemon, adding all the juice. I drizzled 2 tbsp of olive oil on top and mixed them together.

I removed the pecans from the heat and chopped them up just a bit.

Then I placed a bit of the salad in a bowl, sprinkled some of the crispy, fried onions and toasted pecans on top and there it is – a light, flavorful salad for Christmas dinner.  This made four salads.

There is something about  the flavor of toasted nuts and lemon vinaigrette that is just wonderful. The brussels sprouts with their sharp, tangy flavor blended right in and the pepper added a delicious mellow heat. It was just a perfect blend of flavors with the wonderful umami of the fried onions.

 

Sautéed Pork and Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed Pork and Brussels Sprouts

I know pork and cabbage are great companions, so it made sense to me that Brussels sprouts would love pork, too. To make this, I first chopped up 1/4 cup of yellow onion and minced about 1/2 inch of fresh ginger. I heated 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick skillet and sautéed the onions and ginger until tender. I added 2 of the pickled Serrano chilies I had made, diced up to add some heat along with some salt and pepper. Meanwhile, I took a 6 oz boneless pork loin chop and cut it into bite size pieces and added that to the onions and sautéed.

While the pork cooked, I cleaned and sliced up 2 cups of fresh brussels sprouts. When the pork was a few minutes shy of done, I added 2 tsp of soy sauce and a generous squirt of Sriracha, stirred and then added the brussels sprouts and some salt and pepper. I put a lid on it so that the steam would help cook the veggies quickly. After a couple minutes, I lifted the lid, stirred some more and then let cook until done.  I cooked until the brussels sprouts were tender, but still toothsome and not the least mushy.

There was plenty of heat and the blend of ginger, chilies, Sriracha and soy gave this a distinctive SE Asian flavor – with multi-layered spicy heat that was not overpowering. The brussels sprouts absorbed the rich flavors while still remaining fresh and earthy. It was simply delicious and very easy to make.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad

I roasted some brussels sprouts and onion for dinner the other night. I really had to roast all my brussels sprouts because I had forgotten I had them and they were too close to turning. Cooking them would stop the process and give them a reset. So I roasted all of them with some onions, making far more than could be eaten in one meal. I stored in them in container in the fridge and made a salad the next day.  It was still a pretty big salad, making three servings in all.

I had about 2 cups of roasted brussels sprouts and bits of roasted onion. I cut the brussels sprouts in half or quarters depending on how big they were. Then I cut up an apple. I used a Gala, but any reasonably crisp and tart apple will do. I added about 1/4 cup of feta cheese and some salt and pepper. Then I added about 1/2 TBSP of white wine vinegar. I presumed that the olive oil used in roasting the brussels sprouts would be more than enough oil to balance the vinegar and i was right.

The salad was delicious. There’s a smokey sweetness to the roasted sprouts and onion and the apple adds its own tart sweetness. The feta adds an earthy tang and sour note that balances the sweetness perfectly, especially when brightened up by a bit of white wine vinegar.

 

Chicken Vegetable Soup

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I saved the bones from the roast chicken and used them to make a rich chicken broth. I have a pasta cooking kettle, one of those huge kettles with an insert full of holes for straining water. I never make enough pasta to use it, but I do like it for making soup and in particular, for making broth. I just put all the bones, herb and mire poix i there and when the broth is done, I can lift it out and have beautifully clear broth. Since I have explained how to make broth before, I will go forward from there.

I put about 1 TBSP olive oil in the bottom of a sauce pan. I added 1/2 of a leek (chopped), 4 mushrooms (cleaned and chopped), 1 stalk of celery (chopped), some celery seed, thyme, salt and pepper and sautéed until done. Then I added 3 cups of broth, 1 chopped carrot. After 10 minutes, I added 1 chopped yellow squash, 10 brussels sprouts cleaned and cut in quarters. After about 5 minutes I added about 1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley.

This was a rich flavorful soup with a lot of chicken flavor. Very hearty and thick with vegetables in every spoonful. It made 4 large bowls of soup – each one delicious.

 

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Grapefruit & Red Onions

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Grapefruit and Red Onion

I made a larger than usual batch of salad yesterday, wanting to use my brussels sprouts before they turned. I used about 4 cups of brussels spouts, cutting off the ends and cleaning them before slicing them thinly and stirring them up so they break apart into thin shreds.

To that, I added 1 cup of chopped red onion and the segments of 2 grapefruits I supremed. I also squeezed the juice of 1 lemon into the salad. Then I added some salt and a couple dashes of cayenne. The cool thing about cayenne is though it can be dangerously hot, with citrus it can develop a wonderful sweet heat that is pure magic. Normally I would add a TBSP of walnut oil or olive oil to help the citrus and cayenne dressing cling to the veggies better, but I opted to leave it out for a sharper flavor. If you want the salad to be a little more mellow, just add a bit of oil.

This made about 10 servings, so I will have some luscious salad for a while.

 

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

 

This was a simple sauté made to go with a small pork loin chop. I put a 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick pan and heated to medium. I then added just a pinch of anise seed and let it heat until the perfume filled the air. I added 1/2 of a small leek, sliced thinly and chopped in half. I sliced 2 mushrooms, 1/2 a jalapeño and 1/4 of a red pepper and also added them. Lastly I added about 6 brussels sprouts sliced and chopped. I stirred the veggies together and when it was nearly done squeezed half a lemon on top. I served with a 2 oz piece of pork loin fried in another pan.  The veggie sauté  would work well with anything or on its own for a vegan meal.

This made one serving. It’s very flavorful with heat from the chili pepper, sweetness from the red pepper, umami from the mushrooms and tang from the lemon. The anise seed give it a rich aromatic flavor and the brussels sprouts add their hearty magic. If you don’t have leeks, just use onions.