Monday, January 7, 2013

Lemon Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushrooms and Pecans

Sides and Salads Monday

Three cheers for vegetables!  I've decided to post side or salad selections on my early week  posts for this year.   I've been thinking about doing this for a long time, and now I can't think of a better way to start the year than a post about Brussels sprouts.  

Most people either love or hate them, and sadly I often can't convince the "haters" to try fresh Brussels sprouts, not even in the middle of winter.   

I used to buy frozen Brussels sprouts--the ones that cultivate Brussels sprouts haters.  I'll just say, they weren't my favorite vegetable, and after choking down the frozen version, I get why so many people think Brussels sprouts are horrible.  But enjoying them fresh on the stalk at farmers' markets so many years ago, makes a difference in my attitude today.  

Let's show Brussels sprouts a little more love. Ditch the notion that all Brussels sprouts are nasty. Sure fresh market sprouts cost more, but the flavor is worth it, and  if you wait until January when it's very cold, Brussels sprouts become sweeter.  And the sprouts from the Northwest are sweeter than the ones from California.

Everyone likes them around here.  My Cooking Assistant prefers them raw, but he appreciates cooked sprouts, too.

It's also citrus season in California.  And if you want to know more about citrus, check out these five must-have citrus fruits this season in Marlene's Sound Consumer.  The article lists more things you can do with lemons--one of the most useful fruits in my refrigerator.  My favorite's include Meyer lemons (sweeter with thinner skins and more juice).  I also found this article about 100 things to do with lemons.  The only downside is if you add lemon juice to green vegetables, it changes the color.  

My solution?  Eat your vegetables right away.

I added shitake mushrooms to this because they're so good for your immune system.   I turned this side dish into a main dish by adding some cooked brown rice and quinoa and chunks of marineated tofu.  It was one easy dinner.

Lemon Brussels Sprouts with Shiitake Mushrooms and Toasted Pecans
(Serves 4)
You can use any kind of nuts you want with this side dish since they are just the garnish on top.  I often buy them already toasted. To toast pecans: preheat oven to 350F and toast pecans for 9 minutes.  Walnuts take a little longer.

1 1/2 to 2 cups fresh Brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half
10 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped Mama Lil's peppers
1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (outer peel)
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Steam Brussels sprouts until almost tender.  Remove from heat and drain, reserving liquid

Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Dry fry the mushrooms until they get limp.  Add olive oil and Mama Lil's peppers.   In a small bowl combien lemon zest, garlic, lemon juice and agave nectar.  You can add a little Brussels sprouts liquid or olive oil if you want.   

Add the shiitake mushrooms and liquid to the brussls sprouts.  Sprinkle with sea salt to taste  

Garnish with toasted pecans.

Someone can't help himself when it comes to Brussels sprouts.


Torviewtoronto said...

I haven't had like this looks wonderful lovely pictures
happy new year to you and family

Joan said...

I absolutely love brussels sprouts...oven roasted with olive oil and spices is my fav. Only wish I could grow them w/o all the aphids. Every year it's the same thing, too many aphids. They make a mess of it. Aargh! I always enjoy reading your contributions to Marlene's publications. Thanks for your work, Cheers!

Miz Helen said...

Hi Debra,
Looks like Finn and I really love Brussels Sprouts. This is a fabulous recipe that we will really enjoy! Thank you so much for celebrating TWO YEARS with FULL PLATE THURSDAY, I appreciate your visit!
Come Back Soon
Miz Helen

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Thanks so much for stopping by. Joah--Oh brussels sprouts roasted in the oven--I'd love that. I've got to try it. Brussels sprouts are so good right now.

Joan said...

Hi Debra,
Roasted brussels sprouts are simply delish. I clean and cut them in half, toss them in olive oil and spices of your choice in a 9X13 glass pan so they are flat and roast on 350 for an hour. Your oven may vary. I also add chopped potatoes, carrots anything else you like roasted but the sprouts tend to cook fast so at 400* I do the potatoes, carrots initially and add the sprouts after about 20 min. If they are small they'll only need 30min at 400*. I hope you like them!

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

I bet garlic cloves would also be good with the roasted brussels sprouts. Sounds perfect for my menu today!