Saturday, March 6, 2010

Radiatori with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts, but as a child I thought they were the nastiest stinkiest vegetable in existence. Probably because steamed was the only way I’d experienced them. I still believe most steamed or boiled vegetables are not edible. Though, as an adult, or as a big kid as my husband refers to me, I'm able to suck it up and eat what I'm served while my taste buds scream silently in protest.

 Or at least I don't spit them out impolitely anymore.

Nowadays I have a rule. The only darn vegetable I’m allowed to boil or steam is a potato! Ok, sometimes broccoli too. Everything else has to be grilled, sautéed, or roasted.

So my question is, WHY??? Why ever in the world did humans steam these things? They are so fantastic roasted, sautéed, or grilled. I wasted my childhood running from vegetables, but my own 8-year-old loves them now that I know what not to do.

I still try to choke down steamed vegetables when I visit my parents. I don’t think changing their ways is likely at this point anyway.

Radiatori with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 lemon, divided
1 pound Radiatori pasta or other shape, plus 1 cup reserved pasta water
¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs, (Pulse some bread in a small food processor)
½ teaspoon and 1 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup shredded Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese
Freshly cracked pepper plus more salt to taste

1. Prepare a bowl of cold water with juice of ½ a lemon (I threw in the lemon half with the water too), save the other half for the recipe. Rinse the Brussels sprouts and peel off the outer leaves. Cut about ¼ of the base off and discard. Slice into quarters and toss into the lemon water. Repeat with remaining sprouts.

2. Meanwhile bring heavily salted pasta water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water at the end of cooking time.

3. At the same time melt 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet and add the breadcrumbs. Cook until golden and toasted. Remove from skillet and set aside.

4. Next, add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, and ½ teaspoon salt to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for a couple minutes until they start to shrink a bit. Add the onion slices a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook until the vegetables start to caramelize stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute until fragrant. Turn off the heat and squeeze the juice half a lemon over the vegetables.

5. Toss the hot vegetables together with the pasta, bread crumbs, and cheese. Add enough of the pasta water to make it a nice consistency. Add more salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Recipe based off a Brussels Sprout Pasta from Alice Waters' "Chez Panisse Vegetables". Photograph by Laura Flowers.


Chef E said...

Going to the market today, and adding brussel sprouts and a few other things I have seen on the blogsphere that I have not had in a while!

Love the salad, and the cute bowls!

Federica Simoni said...

ciao Laura!! un piatto invitante...e buonissimo!!! bravissima come sempre!!

Se passi domani ti offro una fetta di crostata! un abbraccio!! ciao!

Vrinda said...

Nice recipe with Brussels Sprouts,never tasted this way...gr8 click

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Like you, I never liked them much as a child but now I love them. The combo with the radiatore looks so inviting.

Memória said...

It's funny I liked brussel sprouts more as a kid than I do now. I need to fix that with this dish. It looks so good and healthy.

Memória said...

It's funny I liked brussel sprouts more as a kid than I do now. I need to fix that with this dish. It looks so good and healthy.

Sarah said...

Looks delicious! I love roasted brussel sprouts.

Mari said...

I agree, roasting is the only way to go. Add some crumbled bacon and sharp cheddar to the top of roasted brussell sprouts and then tell me how much you love me! Sorry, the country girl comes out in me when I start talking pig.

Namitha said...

Laura, You are absolutely right. I cannot eat most of the veggies other than potato if they are steamed :D Love brussel sprouts , of course when they are roasted or fried..This looks like my kind of dish :-)

Veronica M. said...

You are so funny! I actually love steamed brussels sprouts and most other vegetables too! But I'm probably the exception to the steamed vegetable-hating rule. Girl, you should submit this wonderful to Sophia at Burp and Slurp for the Blogger Secret Ingredient Challenge (the ingredient is brussels sprouts this time)--hurry--deadline is 3/7!

Veronica M. said...

meant to say "wonderful recipe"

Janice said...

these look great, I never had brussels sprouts as a kid and I was afraid of them as an adult but I love them now when I tried them for the first time

Steve said...

I ran from rutabaga. I think I still might. But I've always liked Brussels sprouts. I'm the odd one out at our house. I think I could sell this preparation. Sounds delicious. I think I'll just make it an let it sneak up on all of them. Cheers - Steve
p.s. I'm slowly coming to peace with my camera! Still more baby steps to come.

sophia said...

I actually don't mind steamed brussel sprouts...I would eat it. But why? When it's SO much better grilled, or roasted, or sauteed with a bit of intense char!
Loved this recipe...thank you for submitting! :-)

Esi said...

I so love brussels, but like you I thought they were gross as a kid. This sounds good to me now!

SashaInTheKitchen said...

love the recipe and beautiful presentation. looks delicious and such cute bowls

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Wow - what a gorgeous dish! Sounds fabulous, too... I adore Brussels sprouts. I usually roast them, but sauteing them sounds wonderful, too. I love the subtle sweetness that comes out when they are prepared properly!

Sunitha said...

Nice recipe. I love my veggies steamed too but do agree that th eother versions are tastier...

shaz said...

I'd heard so much angsty stuff about brussels sprouts I didn't dare try them until my then 5 year old insisted we buy the "cute little cabbages" . Luckily I fried them with butter for our first try and we've absolutley loved them since :) Serrving them with pasta sounds great.

NikiTheo said...

My mom steamed frozen broccoli to a mushy mess for dinner last night. So depressing.
I agree with you all the way on this one. I hated Brussels Sprouts as a kid, but LOVE them now, especially roasted. They are delicious, so much so, that I can eat them as a meal all in themselves. Yum.
And just so you know too, you lose so many of the vitamins and minerals in veggies when you boil or steam them so much. Just another reason why it shouldn't be done... :)

Mimi said...

Great recipe. With caramelized onions, I could sneak the brussel sprouts past my husband.

merry jennifer said...

This looks like a wonderful recipe. I had the same experience as you with Brussels as a kid - they were always boiled, always bitter. Now I saute them and LOVE them. I've converted my husband into a Brussels sprouts lover, too. Will have to try this Brussels and pasta recipe.

Southern Cookbook said...

Love brussel sprouts, I had the same experience as a child with steamed vegi's. When sauteed or grilled these little sprouts are awesome. I will try this recipe.
~Southern Cookbook

Chef Fresco said...

Looks great! We're planning our wedding and wanted to have brussels... no one wanted them! We need more people like you overcoming the negative stigma associated with brussels.

Diana's Cocina said...

I'm a new fan of brussel sprouts! LOL!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I do recall being dismayed at the oversteamed or boiled veggies when I came to America as a child. Growing up with Chinese food, I never had trouble loving vegetables since they were usually prepared in flavorful stir-fries. I've never had boiled brussel sprouts, but I'm sure this is 20x better.

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