How to cook brussel sprouts

September 11, 2013 at 9:01 pm (American, Argentine, Recipes)

The onset of warmer weather and the disappearance of our favourite winter greens calls for a timely tribute to a misunderstood and under-appreciated vegetable, the humble brussel sprout.  Much like broccoli, it doesn’t take much to turn people off these little greens; vague childhood memories of overcooked, mushy, bitter sprouts come to mind.

Cooked well, however, brussel sprouts can introduce a real point of difference to a meal and they have been popping up in menus at some of the hippest new restaurants.  These dishes make use of strong flavours to stand up against the slight bitterness of this vegetable and salt is definitely king.

Sydney’s Porteno dresses deep fried brussel sprouts in a well reduced, salty lentil and mint dressing for a heart-stoppingly addictive side.

Porteno - Fried Brussel Sprouts

American-style diner Rockwell and Sons keeps it simple by topping crispy fried sprouts with grated queso fresco; a more-ish alternative to your standard serve of french fries, that works particularly well with the sweet condiments and slow-cooked meats featured in their brioche sandwiches.

Rockwell and Sons - Fried Sprouts

Okay, so you can argue that anything deep fried will taste good, so here’s a roast recipe that delivers deliciously charred sprouts paired with crispy pancetta and creamy goats cheese, that’s not so damaging to heart health.  The key to crisping up the vegetables without undercooking or overcooking is to cook them like potstickers….

 

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Goats Cheese

Roasted Brussel Sprouts - Pancetta and Goats Cheese

Ingredients (serves 3-4 as a side)

  • 12 brussel sprouts
  • 3 slices mild pancetta, thickly sliced and cut into lardons
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp water
  • 60g goats cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200degC.
  2. Wash the sprouts, remove any blemished outer leaves and cut each in half (or quarters if large).  Place into a mixing bowl, pour over the olive oil and combine well to coat the vegetables.
  3. Turn out onto a baking tray and arrange the sprouts cut side down.  Add 2tbsp water to the tray, cover with foil and place into the oven for 15mins until tender.
  4. Remove from the oven, uncover and add the pancetta to the baking tray, spreading out the pieces to ensure they will cook evenly.
  5. Return the baking tray to the oven, uncovered, and bake for a further 10mins or until the pancetta is crispy and the brussel sprouts are well browned on top and crisped up on the bottom.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish, dot with goats cheese and season with a few turns of black pepper to serve.
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