I’m one of those people who had to be convinced to try Brussels sprouts – that only happened a few years ago. Now they are one of my all-time favorites and just like kale, something you can always find in my refrigerator this time of year.
I’m pretty sure my Mom never tried to feed me sprouts – like, mushrooms, cabbage, any green but iceberg lettuce, chilies, and salmon, they ranked high on the list of things my father wouldn’t eat, so really, why would she have bothered? And since even Alton Brown was reluctant to take on the sprout, I can’t really blame her.
But I have no excuse for letting that continue into my forties. A friend of mine invited me over for dinner a few years back and served Ina Garten’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts; I was converted on the spot. I still love that recipe, though when I make it now, I tend not like my sprouts not quite so blackened, and with a little more spice going on. Those in the picture above marinated in a mixture of olive oil, cayenne, garam masala and salt, and roasted in a 400° over for about a half-hour.
Truly, I never get tired of them. They’ve become a comfort food standby for me – which might explain why I thought to try them with mashed potatoes.
My latest sprout adventure happened when my CSA overloaded me with potatoes and apples on a week that I also overdid it at the farmer’s market. My solution? Bangers And Mash With Apples and Brussels Sprouts. (Bangers and mash sounds so much more intriguing than mashed potatoes and sausages. I’ve only been to one pub in London, and I was terribly disappointed not to find this combination on the menu. I made do with fish and chips. And for the rest of that trip, I tried to avoid typecast meals.)
The apples, and the spouts simmer together, and then you add sautéed sausage slices, and serve the dish over mashed potatoes. The combination makes a great Sunday night supper – it goes well with dark beer and is easy to eat sitting on the couch while you watch Sunday night football, or Masterpiece Theater.