Brussel …. Sprouts?

So, this week has been a long one, but I set aside some time to whip up a few dishes that I knew I’d enjoy.

First, every day this week, I started my day with a breakfast scramble. Simple, tasty and filling. Scrambled eggs, Turkey bits, sharp cheddar and salsa in a flour tortilla.

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Then, which will be the subject of another post, I went to an amazing Ethiopian restaurant, Kokob.

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And of course, during the week, I enjoyed a lovely cup of coffee with a colleague …

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But, while all well and good, the real story of this post originated yesterday. Feeling blue and wanting some comfort food, I made two dishes. For the first, I decided that I should make a vegetarian ratatouille in the Crockpot.

Before:

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After five hours in the Crockpot:

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The recipe I chose was surprisingly easy, and the colors of the fresh produce, exquisite. Though I did not make the parmesan toasts (I forgot!), I tweaked the recipe though, adding a little salt-free Tony’s and fresh toasted garlic to the mix. Served over a Garden Gourmet escalope végétarienne (code for vegetarian schnitzel), the ratatouille was wonderful. My flatmate even made a solid pumpkin carrot soup to go with it. Yum!

While I was not so patiently waiting for that scrumptious dish to finally be done, I made some brussel sprouts. Last week I’d purchased a bag, and somehow the bag got out of sight and out of mind. In putting away my groceries for the ratatouille yesterday, I discovered them, alone and crying in a corner. I made their day … and they made mine!

First, yes, I know. As children, we all hated brussel sprouts, dreading the moment our family would force us to eat them, but this is because they were doing it all wrong! Sprouts should not be boiled, and goodness knows this is how we got turned off of them! I’d even venture to say that’s also the reason we generally didn’t like broccoli or cauliflower as children (I’m the exception to that rule) … because time did not allow our family to experiment. They just did things as their own parents did and we (generally speaking) got the butt end of that stick.

I have easily reviewed a hundred sprout recipes, all variations of the same, but with different techniques. When reading, though, I take note of the common themes … olive oil, garlic, parmesan. So, today, as usual, unhappy with the last recipe, I tried a new recipe.

I found this one so much easier, so much fuller and genuinely more robust than any of the other recipes before. Generally, the other recipes called for tossing the sprouts in lemon juice and olive oil, then browning in the oven or under a broiler for some random period of time. This recipe, however, was far superior. The sprouts maintained their beautiful green and yellow hues on top, while converting into a gorgeous toasted bottom. Topped with parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper on the back-end, they were a perfect addition to the unseasonably warm day.

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Happy sprouting!

~ nolafoodie

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