I'm so excited to announce that I'm now part of the Food Network #FallFest blogger group. Today we're celebrating Brussels sprouts. I know, I know. Brussels sprouts are divisive. You either love them or grimace "Bleeeegh" when they come up in conversation. But I contend that these tiny cabbages have come a long way from the gray-green bitter lumps we shoved around our childhood plates. These days, I've had them tossed in spices and thrown on a hot grill, sautéed in a browned butter with apples, and tucked into cheesy quiches. I've made a Brussels sprout hash with potatoes topped with a poached egg for a comforting dinner, and even pickled them. To. Die. For.
But lately, this simple warm salad is my favorite fail-safe dish -- Peel away the little leaves, rinse them in a colander, and pile them into a microwave-safe bowl without drying them. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 35 seconds, or until slightly wilted and softened, and very warm. Next toss in some caramelized onions and a little dressing. Just before serving, generously shower them with garlicky bread crumbs. That's it!
If you have the bread crumbs and caramelized onions on hand - I nearly always do - this dish takes all of 15 minutes to make (most of which is spent peeling the Brussels sprouts). But if you want to speed it up even further, nix the peeling and slice them using a food processor fitted with a slicer attachment. Either way, this dish is super-easy to make, perfect for the busy Thanksgiving cooking day, or anytime you want something fast and healthy. As a bonus, the combination of savory flavors with the maple syrup in the dressing may just convert any of your last Brussels sprouts holdouts at the table.
As we gallop towards Thanksgiving, I'll provide vegetarian ideas for your table this year, including some other ways to play with Brusselies in your kitchen over the next few days.
Feel free to add a chopped hard-boiled egg for a heartier dish perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
The caramelized onions, Maple Dressing, and Garlic Breadcrumbs can all be made several days in advance.
If you don't have (or prefer not to use) a microwave oven, steam them for 3 - 5 minutes over boiling water.
Large bacon lardons, of course.
Substitute olive oil for butter when making the caramelized onions and breadcrumbs.
More Brussels Sprouts
If you want to turn Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions into a meal, check out this Brussels sprouts and eggs dish.
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Caramelized Onions
Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 green onions or scallions thinly sliced
- 1 cup homemade bread crumbs or panko style
- 1 tablespoon dried cherries
- 1 tablespoon pepitas
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the chopped onions and salt. Toss to coat and cook until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook until a deep caramelized color, about 45 minutes. Add the brown sugar and cook another 15 minutes, moving the onions frequently around the skillet.
- Either remove the leaves from the Brussels sprouts using your fingers, or slice, using a food processor fitted with the slicer attachment. Rinse and place the leaves in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 35 seconds. (Alternatively, steam the leaves over boiling water for 3 - 5 minutes.)
- Whisk together all of the ingredients for the Maple Dressing except the oil, until the salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in the oil.
- Melt the butter for the Garlic Breadcrumbs in a medium skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and sliced scallions. Sauté until soft and add the breadcrumbs. Toss to coat and sauté until just starting to crisp. Stir in the dried cherries and pepitas and continue to cook until the breadcrumbs are crispy.