Wednesday Quickie: Roasted Brussel Sprouts w/Fuji Apples & Pistachios

I fell in love with this dish when I had it at Alta a few years ago.  I’ve made close replicas of this overtime, but came up with this quickie for when I’m in a pinch.  The adapted recipe has its own wonderful flavor profile that makes it a tad lighter and refreshing for the warmer weather.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Fuji Apples and Pistachios

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Fuji Apples and Pistachios

I think this is a perfect vegetable side for any main course – with the lemon adding a nice sparkle and a tad of sweetness from the honey to bring out other flavors. We had it with a simple grilled Halibut the other night and I’ve also served it with Pork Chops before. For my friends who are in love with bacon, I’m sure this would taste amazing with some chopped, pan fried bacon bits too!

Ingredients (4 Side Servings)

– 10 oz Brussel Sprouts: Trim stem and cut into halves

– ½ Fuji Apple: Thinly sliced, julienne or cut into bite size

– ½ Cup Roasted / Shelled Pistachios: Roughly chopped.  (Bake at 300F for 5 minutes if you can’t find roasted)

– Drizzle of Honey to taste; Splash of Lemon Juice to taste (or ½ teaspoon of Lemon Zest)

– Dollop of Sour Cream for Garnish

– Salt / Pepper to taste; Olive oil to toss sprouts

Directions

– Pre-heat oven to 400F; Toss halved brussel sprouts with some olive oil, salt and paper

– Bake brussel sprouts for approximately 12 – 15 minutes, until sprouts are tender and have a nice golden crisp

– Once sprouts are ready, toss with sliced apples and chopped pistachios in a large mixing bowl

– Drizzle the mixture with some honey and a splash of lemon juice to taste

– Garnish each portion with a dollop of sour cream

Storage / Leftovers

If you would like to re-heat the brussel sprouts the next day for leftovers, I suggest tossing / storing the apples separately as you don’t want the apples to wilt during the re-heating process.  If all is tossed already, eating leftovers at room temperature is still quite tasty!

Curry Up for A Healthy New Beginning!

Happy 2013! Hope everyone had a great holiday season and a fantastic new start.  To kick things off the right way (and really to detox from a very meaty and sweet holiday) I finally decided to try and make a vegetarian dish.  I said finally because I’ve always suffered from many food intolerances.  In particular, barley, most legumes, and soy really makes it difficult to get the protein I need from a vegetarian diet. But it’s a new year and I’m willing to give it a shot.

What better teacher than Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood cookbook?  For those of you who have never seen the book itself, I definitely recommend checking it out.  Aside from the delicious vegetarian recipes, the hand lettering aesthetics really makes it homey.  Flipping through the book, her Mushroom Curry caught my eye mostly due to the use of apples, lack of legumes and dairy.

Mollie Katzen Moosewood Cookbook's Mushroom Curry

Mollie Katzen Moosewood Cookbook’s Mushroom Curry

All the spices may seem daunting at first, but follow the recipe 100% and you’ll find making curry from scratch is really not too difficult! This recipe is definitely a winner.  Aside from the seducing aroma, the Cremini mushrooms have the perfect “meaty” and creamy texture, celery a nice crunch, honey & coconut balances the tartness of the apples and tomatoes.

Here’s the recipe:

To save time, you can use boxed or canned chopped tomatoes, I added the honey and water as suggested but decided to skip the yogurt topping as I found the dish tart enough on its own.  Also see alternative serving suggestion below the recipe!

Mollie Katzen's Mushroom Curry Recipe

BRANCHING OWL ALTERNATE SERVING SUGGESTION:

Yes, you can have curry for breakfast.  Here’s how:

Instead of serving this dish with rice, top a fried egg on a small bowl of curry and eat it with some toasted thick crusty bread on the side.  Yummy!

Stay tuned this week for more veggie soups!

Thanksgiving Dinner for Two – Yes We Can!

The silver lining for us unfortunate New York City transplants with no family nearby, I suppose, is that we get to create our own quiet traditions!  With some modifications and a twist to the traditional meal, I hoped to recreate the warmth and festive feeling of this holiday.

Menu:

– Butternut Squash & White Bean Puree with Bacon Sage Croutons

– String Beans “a la Marc”

– Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken Breasts

– Roasted Figs with Home Made Honey Ice Cream

It’s hard to imagine that the star of a meal would be a side. But try out Big Girl Small Kitchen’s Butternut Squash & White Bean Puree with Bacon Sage Croutons and I think you’ll agree with me. A dish with such a nice sweet / savory combination and great crispiness to break up the puree, what’s not to like!

Butternut Squash White Bean Puree with Bacon Sage Crouton

 

As another side, I wanted to make a lighter version of another Thanksgiving favorite, the String Bean Casserole.  I loved this String Beans a la Marc recipe from BGSK – the nice garlicy notes went very well with the bird of the evening.

And now, the Thanksgiving bird! I decided to pardon a turkey and make a zesty & refreshing Lemon-Garlic Roasted Chicken Breasts (at this point, I might as well rename my post, a Very BGSK Thanksgiving…!). 

String Bean A La Marc

To end the evening just right, we gave thanks to the wonderful fig & honey. I made some beautiful roasted figs which accompanied the nice vanilla bean in Maison du Miel’s Honey Ice Cream so well (especially with a hint of richness added by butter used for roasting the figs).

Roasted Figs with Honey Ice Cream

Menu / Floral Design:

Using rich burnt orange palette, I created a menu with paper punched fall leaves & a petite fall arrangement with Mini Calla Lillies, Roses, Waxberries (too cute, like mini lychees!).

Rose Calla Lily Floral Arrangement