I was trying out this recipe for use as a party appetizer, and it was a true success story. The Brussels sprouts are blanched in hot water for a few minutes to bring out their bright green color. Once removed from the pot, they are cut with an X about halfway down. A mixture of goat cheese and garlic is piped into the middle and then the entire thing is wrapped in bacon. I usually buy center cut bacon, but for this recipe I suggest using a longer cut. Pop these in the oven for 30 minutes and out come these tasty little morsels. Serve with the picks that secure the bacon for easy handling. I do suggest that you try to find Brussels sprouts that are all about the same size for this recipe. Such a perfect idea for Thanksgiving when you can find them fresh “on the stalk” at your grocer.
BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (Serves: 8)
- 18 large Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and loose outer leaves discarded
- 4 ounces cream cheese or goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 9 slices bacon, halved crosswise
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Fill a large pot halfway with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 2 minutes to blanch. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a sieve. Pat the Brussels sprouts dry with paper towels or a kitchen towel. Using a paring knife, cut an “X” in the top of each Brussels sprout, cutting halfway down through the sprout.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Blend the cheese and garlic in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into a small resealable plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners of the bag. Place the cut-out corner of the plastic bag in the “X” of each Brussels sprout and squeeze in a dollop of cheese mixture.
- Wrap a piece of bacon around each sprout vertically, covering over the cheese. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with the pepper.
- Bake the sprouts, flipping them over halfway through the baking time, until the bacon is evenly browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve with toothpicks.
~ RodaleWellness.com ~
Never throw away your broccoli stems again. Peel the tough skin on the stalks and cut into 1/8th inch slices. If you slice on the diagonal you will create more surface area and a more attractive final product. Pan fry using the broccoli stems in olive oil for a couple of minutes, turning as they brown, and removing to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve. A wonderfully tasty, healthy snack or side.
PAN-FRIED BROCCOLI STEMS (Serves: 4)
- 4 to 8 thick broccoli stems
- About 4 tablespoons grape seed oil or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Peel broccoli stems and slice crosswise, very thin, about 1/8 inch. (Don’t slice paper-thin because then it’s too easy to burn them.)
- Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and add enough oil to coat well (about 1/8 inch of oil in the pan). When oil is hot add broccoli stems in a single layer. (Don’t add too many at a time because they will cook quickly and you need to turn them all over before they burn.) Turn heat down to medium-high and cook broccoli stems until edges are lightly brown, then flip over with tongs. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute more and remove from oil. Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and let cool for about a minute before eating.
- Continue with all of the broccoli stems, adding oil as needed.
~ CookingNYTimes.com ~
I have prepared steamed broccoli plenty of times, but never using this method. You begin with butter melted in a large skillet over medium-high heat. To that you add 3″ broccoli spears and season them with salt to taste. Now add one cup of water to the pan, turn the heat up to high, and cover the skillet with a lid. It takes about 5 minutes for the broccoli to steam to crisp-tender. Remove the broccoli to a plate, sprinkle with the peppered bread crumbs, and shave some parmesan on top. This turned out to be a wonderful side — an interesting method to add flavor to the broccoli. Save the stalks from your broccoli and stay tuned for a recipe for Pan Fried Broccoli Stems.
BUTTER-STEAMED BROCCOLI WITH PEPPERY BREAD CRUMBS (Serves: 4-6)
- 1 ½ cups coarse bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 large head or 2 medium heads broccoli (1/2 to 2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, for shaving
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, turning pan and stirring crumbs occasionally to ensure even browning. Remove from oven and transfer crumbs to a bowl. Stir in black pepper and salt to taste. Set aside at room temperature.
- Cut off thick stems of broccoli and save for another purpose, such as soup. Cut broccoli tops into 3-inch-long spears of approximately equal size.
- Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt butter, add broccoli spears and season with salt. Add 1 cup water, turn heat to high and cover skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cook rapidly until firm-tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. The broccoli should absorb all the butter and water. (If there is any buttery liquid left, spoon over broccoli just before serving.)
- Transfer broccoli to a serving platter or a large wide shallow bowl. Sprinkle generously with peppery crumbs. Using a vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into rough shards and scatter over the top.
~ CookingNYTimes.com ~
Time to use up some mushrooms, green onions and cherry tomatoes. I love the All Recipes site because it allows you to search by ingredient. This salad recipe incorporates all three with a simple vinaigrette that brings out the best in everything. As an afterthought we added some leftover ciliegine mozzarella balls. It was pretty spectacular and a nice addition to our meal. Served here with Roast New York Strip Loin with Garlic-Herb Crust and Butter-Steamed Broccoli With Peppery Bread Crumbs.
BYRDHOUSE MARINATED TOMATOES AND MUSHROOMS (Serves: 3)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and basil; toss until evenly coated. Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.
This recipe was so simple and surprisingly tasty. I added a step by peeling and slicing the eggplant and then placing them on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of salt. The bitterness of the eggplant is minimized by letting the eggplant rest in this way for an hour or so. Just make sure to rinse the eggplant with cold water before cooking. The eggplant and onion slices are browned on the stovetop before they are assembled with the tomato slices in a square casserole dish. After a quick 20 minutes in the oven grated parmesan is sprinkled across the top and then returned for a few minutes under the broiler. And that’s it folks . . . A beautiful combination of flavors that can serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side.
TOMATO AND EGGPLANT TIAN (Serves: 4)
- 20 bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- One 15-ounce jar plum preserves
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 20 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant slices, season with salt and cook until golden on both sides. Remove to a plate and repeat with the onion slices
- Rub a small baking dish with the garlic clove. Layer the eggplant, onions, and tomato slices in rows in the baking dish. Drizzle a little more olive oil on top. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake until heated through and the tomatoes are soft but still hold their shape, about 20 minutes. Remove the baking dish and set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the shredded cheese and broil to melt and brown the cheese, about another 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
~ FoodNetwork.com ~
I was able pick up a pound of beautiful haricot vert (French green beans) recently. When combined with fresh carrots, sliced cremini mushrooms, and onions they were a perfect accompaniment to our steak dinner. Although the recipe indicates that the beans should be cut into 1″ pieces, I just couldn’t bring myself to butcher these beautiful veggies. Instead, I cut them in half in order to retain their delicate form. Perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned . . . this is a great vegetable side dish.
GREEN BEAN AND MUSHROOM MEDLEY (Serves: 6)
- 1/2 pound fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 carrots, cut into thick strips
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- Place green beans and carrots in 1 inch of boiling water. Cover, and cook until tender but still firm. Drain.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and mushrooms until almost tender. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in green beans, carrots, salt, seasoned salt, garlic salt, and white pepper. Cover, and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
~ AllRecipes.com ~