Before Top Chef became a breeding ground for product placement and celebrity judges, there was cheftestant Robin Leventhal. The colorful and fast-talking Seattle chef finished 5th in Season 6 of the hit Bravo series. She’s now an artist and teacher in Walla Walla. Not one to shy away from cannabis, she’s sharing her recipe for the often misunderstood holiday side dish: Brussels sprouts. They can be delicious, really! Here, she tells you how.
I know you might think Brussels are gross, smell like dirty feet and remind you of your grandma. I’m here to set you straight! Things have changed since you tried them when you were 5-years old and couldn’t see over the counter. Now we know that crispy on the outside and tender on the inside (not mushy) is the way to transform these mini cabbages into jewels on the plate and smiles in your belly.
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You could add bacon, but you already knew that! Finally, the herb butter just adds that extra bit of love that makes them irresistible! Of course, this recipe will be delicious if you omit the herbaliscious butter, which I recommend for a family affair. And finally, please, please, please do not use frozen vegetables! They just perpetuate the hater’s justification of calling them vile. Fresh is always best, and for the holidays, nothing else will do!
Herbaliscious Brussels Sprouts
Prep time 10 minutes. Cook time 30 minutes. Oven temp: 375˚ F.
- 2 lbs honey nut squash or butternut, sliced in ½-inch half moons
- 3lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half from base to top
- 1/3 c. shallots, quartered and sliced 1/8th inch thick
- ¼ c. bacon cut cross wise 1/8 inch thick (optional)
- 2 Tbsp herbaliscious butter
- 2 Tbsp oil (I prefer grapeseed but canola, vegetable or a blended olive oil are fine to use)
- 1 tsp. Kosher or sea salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375˚ degrees. In a bowl toss the Brussel sprouts with the 2 Tbls. oil and spread cut side down a sheet pan. Place the cut half-moons of squash alongside the brussels, brush with oil and sprinkle all the vegetables with the salt. Roast until tender through when pierced with a knife and cut sides are caramelized, approximately 30 minutes. If you need to get a bit of color at the end of cooking, use the broiler for a minute or two as needed to enhance caramelization.
While the squash and brussels are roasting, in a small sauté pan cook the shallots and bacon on medium heat until golden brown and crispy. Add the herb butter to melt, reserve until squash and Brussles are finished roasting.
Once Brussels and squash are done cooking, toss with the herbaliscious shallot-bacon-butter, a few fresh grinds of black pepper, taste for salt and adjust if needed. Serve immediately and remind your guests to have a happy and safe holiday!