Turkeys don’t fly (or at least not the ones you cook for Thanksgiving) but time sure does. It seems like just yesterday we were whipping up sweet potato casseroles and cranberry sauce for our Turkey-Day dinners. This year, we’ve turned our culinary attention to Brussels sprouts. This cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetable is the perfect holiday side dish; it’s nutritious and versatile, and well, perfect for any day of the year.
On this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast, we feature two new Brussels sprouts creations. First up is our Better-for-You Brussels Spouts Gratin, a makeover of a cream-laden recipe that one of our Facebook fans asked us to make over. Next up is a recipe for Roasted Sesame Brussels Spouts, which was sent to us by Mindy from The World in My Kitchen. On the show, we also kvell (hey, it’s better than kvetch) over a few other delicious-looking dishes: Brussels Spouts Salad with Cranberries and Walnuts from Alison Lewis at Ingredients Inc., Balsamic Roasted Brussels Spouts with Apples from Regan at The Professional Palate, and Brussels Sprouts Salad from Gluten-Free Girl.
Janice’s friends own a farm in western, MA and they gave us two lovely stalks of Brussels sprouts for our week of recipe testing. To see photos from the farm, check out our Fickr page.
Our Facebook fan, Danica, asked us to give a recipe for Brussels Sprouts Gratin from AllRecipes.com a makeover. In Danica’s words, “Please, oh please, make it over!” The original recipe called for 2½ cups of heavy cream and half-and-half combined as well as 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese and a teaspoon of salt. When we crunched the nutrition numbers, we were not surprised that each serving had 400 calories, 18 grams of saturated fat (that’s nearly a day’s worth), and over 800 milligrams of sodium.
Better-for-You Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Makes 8 Servings
The secret to our healthy makeover is the roux made with EVOO, just 1 tablespoon of butter, flour, and 1% low-fat milk. We kept the original 4 ounces of lean prosciutto for flavor and depth. The Brussels sprouts come out soft and tender … they literally melt in your mouth.
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 ounces prosciutto, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1/4 cup sherry
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Peel off any damaged outer layers of Brussels sprouts. Trim the stem to make it flush. Cut small sprouts in half and larger ones into quarters lengthwise. Keep a bit of the core attached.
2. Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts. Add the prosciutto and sauté , stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and stir continuously for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add the flour and continue stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk and sherry, raise the heat, and bring to low boil (keep stirring). Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid thickens and reduces by about a third, 7 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and salt. Transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish. Cover with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the Brussels spouts are tender and the top turns golden brown, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 200 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated, 0.3g omega-3), 620mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 13g protein, 25% vitamin A, 130% vitamin C, 25% calcium, 10% iron
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamin K is important for healthy bones as well as normal blood clotting.
The ingredients for Roasted Sesame Brussels sprouts are pretty basic: Brussels sprouts, toasted sesame oil, kosher salt, and pepper. So easy!
We love this recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts. If you prefer your sprouts very tender, we suggest you place them in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 2 minutes in the microwave before placing in the oven.
Roasted Sesame Brussels Spouts
Makes 3 Servings (total yield 1 1/3 cups)
We sent out a tweet on Twitter asking our followers to share their favorite Brussels sprouts recipes. Here’s a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts that got tweeted back. We cooked it up today and made a few minor tweaks (that’s tweaks not tweets). Adapted from the blog, The World in My Kitchen
- 1/2 pound large Brussels sprouts (about 11 sprouts)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove any wilted or loose leaves from the Brussels sprouts. Rinse and dry them. Quarter them so that each piece still has a bit of the core attached. Place in a bowl and toss with the sesame oil. If there’s not enough oil to coat them lightly but evenly, add a little more. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. When the Brussels sprouts are done marinating, sprinkle with the salt and a few cranks of pepper. Spread the the sprouts in one layer on a baking sheet or in a stoneware baking dish. Place in the oven until the sprouts start to brown and caramelize a bit, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn them over about half-way through. Drizzle with a tiny bit of sesame oil and serve hot.
Nutrition Information per Serving (about 1/2 cup): 70 calories, 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 110mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 10% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C
Brussels spouts stalks … minus the sprouts! Thank goodness our intern, Sara, was here today to help us harvest our crop
Do you have a favorite Brussels sprouts recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so feel free to share a link or description on this post.