In the produce department, the Brussels sprout is like a short, bald guy in a crowded singles bar. At first superficial glance, he’s not the flashiest man in the room, but when you get to know him, he is the most complex and charismatic guy you’ll ever want to meet.
The Brussels sprout has come a long way from the boiled days of yore. Roasted, sautéed, caramelized- they are fabulous alone but are also very sociable when thrown into other dishes. Brussels sprouts are cool season vegetables, and right now they’re available everywhere.
The origins of this recipe came from the PCC website; they make it as a topping for pumpkin or butternut squash ravioli. I couldn’t find a ravioli that didn’t have cheese in it, so I used regular thick noodles instead. I added butternut squash to the recipe, and made a few other changes. You could skip the pasta and the squash if you just want a Brussels sprout side dish. This is a wonderful fall dish because it combines the seasonal flavors (and colors) of Brussels sprouts, squash, hazelnuts and cranberries, and caramelizes them with a balsamic mustard glaze.
And just a quick mention about their complex nutritional value: Brussels sprouts are storehouse of several flavonoid anti-oxidants which together offer protection from prostate, colon, and endometrial cancers. They are an excellent vegetable source for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 147% of RDA. Vitamin K promotes osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limit neuronal damage in the brain: preventing or at least delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
So next time you’re in the produce department, wander over and pick up some Brussels sprouts. (Sorry, couldn’t resist that.)
- 2 cups roasted butternut squash, chopped (about ½ a large squash)
- 12-14 large Brussels sprouts
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts (I put them in a baggie and pound them with a mallet)
- 1 tsp dried sage or a Tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16-oz Noodles (your favorite)
- Roast and chop butternut squash (follow directions for Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Can be made ahead and refrigerated)
- Trim the outer leaves and white end from the Brussels sprouts and run them through the slicing blade of your food processor, or just cut them into thin slices with a knife.
- In a large skillet, saute onion in 2 Tbsp olive oil until it starts to brown and caramelize. Remove onions from pan. Add Brussels sprouts and another tablespoon or two of olive oil to the pan and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts start to wilt. Add in the roasted chopped squash, the sauteed onion, the sage, and hazelnuts. Mix together the balsamic vinegar and the Dijon mustard. Pour over Brussels sprout mixture and stir to coat everything. Add in cranberries. Stir to mix all the flavors and heat for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve this as a side dish or over cooked noodles.