Feb 15, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and Pecans

During my dietetic internship, I was required to spend a little time in the school lunch room. Observing, helping out, ah..well - doing free work
One day, cauliflower was on the menu. The cook oversteamed it to mush, and lightly threw on some salt and pepper. When I asked her if there was any thing I needed to add to it, her reply was, "No, they're not going to eat it anyway." 
I was appalled. Shocked. Well, of course they're not going to eat it. 
Holy Toledo, who would?!
brusselsprouts 2
That incident, is what I thought of when preparing these delectable sprouts. I know that sprouts are not generally a food you'd pick out of a line-up to eat. But try them, cooked like this. The caramelization yields a nutty and subtle sweetness-hence, the darker color. 

Brussels Sprouts & Pecans
adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow

1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbsp extra virgin- (best quality) olive oil, & extra dash or two when serving
1 large handful of pecan halves
Few pinches of coarse salt
1 fresh lemon, cut in half

Steam the Brussels sprouts for 6-7 minutes, or just until tender and a pretty green. Let them cool for a few minutes and then cut them in half lengthwise. 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the sprouts in a single layer, cut side down in the skillet. Cook in batches, if needed, but I didn't need. Sprinkle pecans in-between the sprouts. Allow both sprouts and pecans to cook for 4-5 minutes - do not stir and toss them! The goal in that 4-5 minutes is browned, not burned. 

After the 4-5 minutes of this, flip each sprout, allowing the other side to brown, about an extra 3 minutes. Stir the pecans around, you don't want them to burn either. 

Remove from heat onto serving platter, sprinkle with the salt, drizzle with olive oil, and squeeze the lemon halves over the sprouts, making sure to share at least a drop of lemon on each sprout halve. 
Will serve 4 vegetable loving people and takes ~ 25 minutes. 

If you're having a salad, and who isn't? Sprinkle some of these pecans on it as well, my husband loves doing this. And yes, he's a Brussels sprouts convert now. 

Posted from the Galapagos Islands, while watching sea lions play.
Dream Big!

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  1. LOVE the Brussels sprouts! I also love cabbage. To me, BS are like bite-sized versions of their big cabbagey bothers. I've had BS with walnuts (and dried cranberries) before, bet they're delicious w/ pecans.

  2. These do look like they are prepared deliciously. I grew up on over cooked stuff, not sure why my mom never tried any other way of cooking veggies besides boiling them in a pot of water! Love the addition of the nuts also. The school lunchroom should have been trying to improve on their preparation of the cauliflower so more kids would eat it-sounds like the cook had a defeatist attitude. Have a great afternoon!

  3. I'm glad you're volunteering at the school (I really should start volunteering somewhere) and you're completely right about "steamed" cauliflower - if we can't be bothered to put in some love, why should anyone bother eating it?! I love this take on brussels sprouts - although I've never had one I liked ;)

  4. This is one combo that I haven't tried before! Sound awesome and I love your photos too!!!

  5. Oh, yeah...I love the look of these! Perfectly caramelized!

  6. I appreciate you all..hope you're having a great day! :)

  7. Oh, I agree! Cooked properly, brussels sprouts are amazing! I love them...and I used to abhor them! However, I only had them boiled within an inch of their life and they were bitter and just awful! BRAVO! I love this post!

  8. I adore brussels sprouts and then you throw in little goodies like pecans - and everyone would eat their vegetables. I agree - who wants to eat vegetable mush?

  9. Ann: I was the same way :)

    Claudia: Right on!

  10. Brussels sprouts are my top 5 favorite veggies. I haven't tried cooking with pecans. Sounds amazing!


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