Saturday, October 12, 2013

Italian-Style Brussels Sprouts

Trying to feed the family more vegetables?  Brussels sprouts turning up noses all around the table?  Try this preparation which I  always call 'Italian-style' although I have no idea why. I suppose it's because of the garlic and Parmesan cheese.  In any case, once you make these little cabbage-like vegetables this way, your family will consume them with pleasure.

Italian-Style 'Sprouts' Ready for the Oven

If you follow this blog, you know I use Brussels sprouts in many ways.  The are great around a roasted chicken or pot roast, and my Autumn version with ham and pecans is always popular.  But year-around I make these for two important reasons:  they are very simple and quick to prepare and they taste and smell so good.

I don't follow any specific recipe and measure none of the ingredients.  You don't need to either, but I give you some basic pointers on how to make this your 'go to' dish when you need a good weeknight vegetable dish.

Removed from the oven and ready to serve

When selecting the Brussels sprouts, look for the smaller more tender specimens.  Start by cutting off the stem ends that are dry and unappealing. Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.

Remove any loose or dark outer leaves and cut each one in half.  Coat the bottom of a baking dish lightly with olive oil.  Add the sprouts and sprinkle lightly with additional olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese, but not the very fine grate you use on pasta. Rather grate your own or look for somewhat larger pieces as shown in the photos here.  Mince a clove or two of garlic and sprinkle over the sprouts.

Melt butter (I use about 3 tablespoons for a full 9" x 12" baking dish as shown above) and stir in bread crumbs until they are moist.  The buttered crumbs will brown somewhat during cooking, unlike plain breadcrumbs.  Sprinkle over the sprouts, top with a little more Parmesan cheese and cover with foil.

Bake covered for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, or until fork tender.

Served along side a seasoned piece of Alaskan halibut, it is enough for a meal.

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