Oy vey, Brussels sprouts

I am convinced that my friend Brenda is a reincarnated Jewish grandmother. When she invited The Hub and me for dinner recently, she spread out enough food for 20 and was concerned that we barely made a dent in it all.

She cooked Brussels sprouts in a way that I’d never seen before – and I’ve seen some sprouts; I love them. She cooked them with a combination of broiling and steaming  that resulted in Brussels sprouts that were tender and not overcooked, just “al dente.” Of course, she just throws things together (like all good reincarnated Jewish grandmothers) and didn’t have a recipe, but I re-created the dish from her description.

It was also my first time using grapeseed oil, and I like its nutty flavor. Brenda used it just because someone gave it to her and she wanted to use it. It has a higher smoke point than olive oil and that may help in this recipe, too.

The only big caution I have is to watch the vegetables carefully, and shake or stir often to avoid burning. Because Brenda’s sprouts didn’t have a single toasted leaf.

The Reincarnated Jewish Grandmother’s Brussels Sprouts

About 1 pound of Brussels sprouts

Half of a red onion

Grapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

Cut the Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters, whatever makes all the pieces close to the same size. Thinly slice the red onion. Put both in a shallow roasting pan and toss with a liberal amount of oil. Place under the oven broiler and cook, tossing or stirring frequently, for 3 or 4 minutes, until you start to see them possibly brown. But don’t let them brown. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put in a heatproof bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. The vegetables will steam to tenderness. Let them sit as long as you like – this dish is good at room temperature as well as hot – but they will need to sit for at least 20 minutes.


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