November 21, 2012
Thanksgiving is here. And, in traditional fashion I'm sure brussel sprouts made it to your shopping carts. In many stores these days you can even find them on their original stalks - so fun especially for the kids in your life.
But, how much do we really love this little green veggie? Like a mini cabbage - often over steamed and served sort as an afterthought. Fun. Exciting. Mouthwatering are rarely words associated with the iconic brussels sprout (except for a few of us) - well, until now!
Though most of us prep and roast the whole brussels sprout (slicing it down the middle), I would argue that there are two parts that need to be addressed. Obviously there is the core on the inside that is delicious when sauteed with butter, some balsamic vinegar, and combined with candied pecans or walnuts. But, there are also the outer leaves that sometimes just break away and are trashed unnecessarily or eaten as an afterthought.
This recipe is a tribute to those outer leaves. Folks. Don't get rid of them or eat them begrudgingly. Truly celebrate them!
2 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts, large outer leaves removed* (12 cups of loosely packed leaves)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon garam masala**
1. Position rack on the second-from-top position of your oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
2. In a deep and roomy bowl add leaves and all other ingredients. Get your hands in there and mix so that all the leaves are coated with oil and spices.
3. Spread the spiced leaves out on a large sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.
4. Carefully remove tray from the oven, slightly mix the leaves with tongs, and turn the sheet around. Put back in the oven and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. You can pull the leaves out at this point and eat, or really get them crispy and cook another 5 minutes. (so a total of 25 minutes)
6. Serve immediately. They will be toasted on the sides, curled up, and melt-in-your-mouth delicious - at once crispy, crunchy, and downright delicious. Proof is in the picture below. Some of the open spots below right are from me eating up the goods before they even had an opportunity to be photographed!
Tip: I always wash my brussels sprouts whole and dry them completely before pulling off the leaves. Getting rid of as much moisture as possible will also help crisp them up in your oven. I helps to set the leaves on a paper towel or dish cloth to dry.
* This is about 70 brussels sprouts - the amount on a large stalk. If you don't want this many, just cut back on all the ingredients. Keep in mind, though, these leave shrink a lot once cooked, like cooked spinach.
** Use any spice or blend here, from Italian to Chinese to African. It will all work. I've seen other recipes call for Parmesan cheese. The possibilities are truly endless and up to your own imagination.
Use these chips for everything. The other day, I garnished my dal with them and it was out of this world.
Make up a bunch and put them in the fridge. They are even delicious cold. If you do want to re-crisp them, just put them back in the oven at 350 degrees F for a few minutes before eating.
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