Cooking By Color – Green
Often times there’s a veggie that comes along that makes most people’s face curl up in the ew face. Brussels sprouts fall in the love them or hate them category. I often have people in cooking classes exclaim they hate Brussels. I show them how to cook them properly and they become lovers of Brussels. And by golly they should love them! They come from the cruciferous family of vegetables that are known for their cancer and disease-fighting properties. Get you some!
Most people roast them and that is a delicious way to cook Brussels sprouts. I like to blanch them and toss them with a lovely sauce. If you haven’t tried my Lemon-kissed Brussels with Squash & Toasted Almonds it’s a must! This recipe will convert any hater to a lover.
So here is how you properly care for and cook your Brussels. The first thing I do is chop off the tips and peel off the outside layers that might be icky or dead. I then cut the Brussels in half or fourths depending on their size (after eating this meal I wish I had cut them in fourths). The reason I do this step before washing is if your Brussels are organic more than likely there will be aphids on the inside layers that got there while the Brussels were maturing. These are harmless little bugs and will cook off, but it kind of grosses me out to see them floating in my cooking water. Sooooo the next step is to soak them in a bowl of water.
I let them soak for a few minutes and move them around the bowl. Drain them and give them a quick rinse. To blanch, get out the appropriate size saucepan or pot and fill with a few inches of water (depending on how many Brussels you are blanching at a time). You do not need a huge pot of water (same goes for blanching kale, it shrinks when it hits the water so no need to waste water). Bring water to a rolling boil. Then drop in your Brussels.
Do NOT over cook! Basically I let them bounce around for about 30 seconds then I pull them out. I do not like my Brussels mushy. They will turn the brightest green and almost glow. That’s your sign to pull them out. I use a tool called a skimmer which is essential for blanching. I highly recommend you get one (found at any Asian grocer or kitchen supply store). With blanching you can either put them in a bowl and splash cold water on the veggies to prevent them from cooking any longer or lay them on a bed of ice.
You could also steam them but with the lid on there is a better chance you will walk out of the kitchen and overcook them.
Easy enough right?
Now for the recipe! I haven’t met a tahini-based dressing I haven’t liked. Paired with orange and ginger, you might just want to smother it on everything it’s so good!
Brussels with Orange Tahini Dressing
This dressing is great on a salad too. It’s even delicious without the ginger if you are not a fan.
Makes 2 servings
2 servings worth of soba noodles (or another noodle)
2 cups Brussels, cut in half
1/2 cup sliced red pepper
1 pink naval orange (or regular navel orange)
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Sea salt, to taste as needed
Cook noodles according to package. Blanch Brussels sprouts (as described above). Cut orange in half. Juice one half into a small bowl and mix with the next 5 ingredients until creamy. Peel the remaining half of orange and cut into small wedges. Toss the Brussels red pepper and oranges with the dressing and season to taste. Either toss this with the noodles or serve on top of a bed of plain noodles.
This is a super quick meal idea that is packed full of fiber and micronutrients. And it’s just beautiful! What is YOUR favorite way to make Brussels sprouts?