fat free opinions on a food centric life

Brussels Sprouts and Pistachios

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I've always loved Brussels sprouts.  I guess the fact that my mother didn't cook vegetables in general until they were soft and grey helped.  The Brussels sprouts we had on our plates were most often whole, frozen, then cooked in a bit of water for a short time before butter and salt were added.  No nonsense, and flavorful — if you're someone who enjoys a bit of a cabbage taste.

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable and like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and cabbage, are extremely good for you.  Research has shown that specific types of cancer are less prevalent in individuals who regularly eat cruciferous vegetables — or vegetables that contain sulphorous compounds, which contribute to their strong flavor.  I know that doesn't always encourage people to want to try them, but I believe that often, the reason people won't eat vegetables is because they've been prepared improperly, and they're not sure what they're supposed to taste like.

Recently, I received a variety of lovely nut and dried fruit products from Oh Nuts! to sample in recipes of my choice.  They sell an amazing variety of bulk items and gift products perfect for the holidays — whether you're cooking, or making gift baskets.  Their Shelled Raw Pistachios are a perfect compliment to sauteed Brussels sprouts.

What you can learn from this recipe is that sauteed Brussels sprouts have quite a nutty flavor — and not because of the pistachios!  If you're someone who's not thrilled about Brussels sprouts, this recipe will change your mind.  I know it.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios

3 T. grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 small minced or thinly sliced shallot
8 c. fresh Brussels sprouts, about 1-1/2 lbs.
3/4 c. shelled, raw pistachios
juice of 1 lemon

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Fit the slicer attachment to a food processor, and load the sprouts in the tube.  Push them through the tube with the motor running, and repeat process until all are shredded.  Remove as many core pieces as possible and discard.

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Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the shallots, stirring just until fragrant, less than a minute.  Add the sprouts and pistachios and toss occasionally, allowing the sprouts to begin to brown.  This should take from 3-5 minutes, but definitely no more.  Add the lemon juice, give the sprouts one more toss, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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 Notes:

  • If you don't have a food processor, quarter the sprouts and trim the tough cores.  It takes more time, but still works fine.  You'll have some nice big, green leafy pieces which is pretty.
  • Salted pistachios will also work, but you may need to alter the quantity as they can make the dish saltier than you'd like.
  • The grapeseed oil is very nice with this, so if you're looking for an excuse to add another oil to your pantry, this would be the recipe to make the purchase for.  It's lovely in salads…
  • The entire dish is so easy and quick to make, it's easy to get hooked on it.  It's a terrific entre for lunch or for dinner if you want something without meat.
  • The original recipe can be located at epicurious.
  • Oh Nuts! sent me quite a variety of products, so check back for lots of goodies coming soon.

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