Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Charred Brussels Sprouts with Tomato (No Added Fat)

Happy Valentine's Day! My family likes Brussels Sprouts but my wife prefers them pan cooked and charred, not steamed or pressure cooked, as I usually prepare them. I had the idea initially of braising Brussels Sprouts after oven roasting them and then pan sauteeing them, perhaps cooking them, covered, with broth as a final step. I thought of cutting fresh tomato into heart-shaped like sections and using them in the main dish for the Valentine's theme. Here is what I did.

  • About a half pound (maybe 8) Brussels Sprouts, end and outer leaves removed, then cut into 3/8" slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely (about 1/8") minced
  • Onion, of about same volume as garlic, also finely minced
  • 2 firm medium Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/4" slices and then quartered
  • 1t fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • 1/4 t (or to taste) salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
  1. I put the Brussels Sprouts in a oven-proof dish and topped with the garlic and onion, then put in a toaster oven and roasted at 450°F for 15m
  2. I turned the toaster oven up to broil and broiled for 3m
  3. I took the Brussels Sprouts, onion, and garlic out of the toaster oven and put on a cast iron skillet that I had lightly rubbed with oil to leave almost no oil behind; I cooked, stirring occasionally, on medium high for about 5 minutes till I got the desired level of charred Sprouts
  4. In parallel on a stainless steel Saladmaster skillet, I sauteed the tomato over medium high heat for 3 minutes or so, whereupon the tomato softened almost to the point of being a very thick sauce
  5. I mixed in a bowl the contents of both pans, as well as the lime juice, oregano, salt, and pepper
I had some beans in a tomato sauce that I heated up as a side dish. A generous slice of avocado completed the Valentine's meal.


As I was cooking the Sprouts, I was quite pleased with how crispy and charred they got with almost no oil at all (I list this dish as no added fat as I really just swiped on enough oil to just barely coat the pan; any oil absorbed into the food would be a trivial amount), and decided to forego braising.

It came out great - we all loved the dish! This is a real winner and a fun dish that goes from (toaster) oven to cast iron, then to mixing bowl. It is simple with just a few ingredients, and the flavor shines. I was surprised at how good this came out - maybe it was just the relative novelty of the charred Brussels Sprouts vs. the pressure cooking that I usually use with them. I had considered mixing in liquid smoke, but other than a bit of hot sauce (which really wasn't even necessary), the dish was quite flavorful as it was.

Ideas for the future

Capers might add a nice addition instead of salt. I'd love to make more crispy Brussels Sprout dishes, perhaps with root vegetables like sweet potatoes or carrots.

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