Spicy and Cheesy Brussels Sprouts…The gateway sprout recipe!
I think we’ve established that I like bitter foods. Be it bitter melon, some broccoli raab, or Brussels sprouts…if it makes your mouth tingle and do a snoopy dance, I’m there! As a kid, I think my mom may have served me Brussels sprouts once…one of those Bird’s Eye “nuke it in this package and GO!” sort of things and, as expected, it was bitter, terrible, and almost scared me off of Brussels sprouts forever…almost.
I’ve since had and successfully made Brussels sprouts many different ways as an adult and happily munch on it whenever I get a chance, but I have never yet quite been able to sell this particular veggie off to Alex until I came across this one. To this day, I kind of find it a little sad that my other half doesn’t quite enjoy bitter foods as much as I do…mind you, he can drink the hoppiest beers (you know, the kind that could hair on your chest) without any problems, but give him some sprouts or raab and he’s OUT! So I’m constantly trying to find ways to present these foods that is palatable to him…and luckily, I found one for sprouts!
Hhmm, this recipe is both spicy and cheesy? Surely this could work right? Oh, and it does. The cheese here tones down some of the bitterness of the sprouts while the red pepper flakes gives your taste buds something else to think about! The addition of nutmeg and cinnamon add a little extra brightness to the dish and are an unusual and welcome addition. The brussels are boiled to just about done though so they’re still crunchy and have a bit of a bite them too, reminding you that it is, after all, a crisp cabbage like veggie which should never be served soggy. As the original recipe extols…this is the recipe for even those who are staunch sprout haters. This is what I like to think of as the gateway sprout recipe. Let the bitter food rage begin!
Spicy and Cheese Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from Epicurious | April 2010
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
7 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste, preferably freshly grated
Dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Wash sprouts thorough and trim off ends, discarding any discolored outer leaves. If sprouts are large, cut in half or quarters into manageable, bite sized pieces.
Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil and add sprouts. Boil, uncovered, about 4-5 minutes. Drain well. Sprouts will be a vibrant green color and will just give a bit when prodded with a fork. You want them crunchy tender, don’t overcook!
Wipe and dry pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in red pepper flakes and garlie and saute for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add sprouts, nutmeg, and cinnamon and saute for an additional minute. Mix in parmesan cheese and toss with sprouts until melted. Remove from heat, serve, and watch love of Brussels sprouts begin!