Tag Archives: veggies

Stove-top Roasted Brussels Sprouts

We’ve been deep into apple and squash season for some time now, with nary a word from Bring It. If you are in search of some seasonal faves, there are plenty in the archives. I’ve been making my fair share of squash on toast, sugar and spice squash soup, all kinds of riffs on roasted squash and kale salad (often sans kale), and pretty much any way to mainline squash. Same with all things apple, though it is hard to stray far from apple crisp (using this topping) and its more intimidating sister, apple pie. Also psssst: make these apple cheddar scones on the weekend and you’re a hero, guaranteed.

With Thanksgiving breathing down our necks, I want to focus on Brussels sprouts, which for many of us place second only to lima beans as the most maligned veggie of our youths. They were recently featured in depth on cookthevineyard. The exposé discussed the merits of respective preparations—halved, quartered and sliced—and how to cook each, along with the one hard and fast rule of Brussels sprouts cookery, which is basically this: Never, ever boil them. This is gospel people.

Cookthevineyard has some excellent suggestions, but my new favorite way to cook them —more method than recipe— comes from Joy the Baker. My visits to her site are more voyeuristic than anything, because I’m just not a baker at heart. Other than Easiest French Bread Ever, which I bake like it is my job, I leave the baking glory to others. But her stovetop “roasting” take on Brussels sprouts is sheer brilliance. I can see it working on a cast iron pan on the grill too, just like these peppers and onions agradolce (fancy term for vinegar and syrup) that became this summer’s grilling addiction.

So, this is a quickie, but it is a method that I hope will come in handy this fall, because folks, it’s time to brush off your A Game in the kitchen.

Stove-top “Roasted” Brussels Sprouts

Taken completely, cleverness included, from Joythebaker


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • juice of half a lemon or splash of red wine vinegar
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • grated parmesan cheese


Trim the ends of the sprouts and cut them in half.  The cut side will create more space for that glorious browning and it’s always nice to see how Mother Nature made a whole ass cabbage to tiny and cute. Admire all the inner layers because vegetables are actually so cool.  All the little outside leaves that fluff off once the end is trimmed? Save those we’ll cook those, too.

Grab a skillet – a pretty big one that has a lid that fits cozy.  Nonstick isn’t important and I haven’t tried this recipe in cast iron though I suspect it works just fine.  Pour oil into the cold pan.  It will feel like a lot of oil and you might be tempted to use less oil but don’t.  Trust me on this one, ok?  Add the halved Brussels sprouts to the pan with oil, cut side down in a single layer.  Sprinkle the little leafy bits on top.  Put the lid on the pan.

Place the cold pan with oil, Brussels, and the lid over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.  Don’t lift the lid. Don’t shake the pan – just let it all go. This is where the magic happens.  The Brussels sprouts will create steam as they cook and that lid is helping them steam to tender all while the oil is heating and browning those little babies to golden.  After 5-7 minutes, remove the lid, shake the pan around and allow the Brussels to pan fry uncovered for another 5 minutes.  Test with a fork for doneness.

Remove the pan from the heat and toss in salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Be generous. Be very cheffy about it. Optional extras: a spoonful of dijon mustard and brown sugar are glorious additions to the acid.

Notes: As I said, this is 100% from Joy, but I can vouch for the bennies of Dijon and maple syrup added at the end. I mix them up with the lemon juice and pour in the whole shebang. And, I’ve used cotija or grated cheddar cheese instead of parm with no complaints. As ever, love the one you’re with!

And, if you are a brussels sprouts fan dive into cookthevineyard’s rabbit hole on the topic. I am so trying the sprout potato hash…as soon as I work through some more squash and apples.


Get Saucy With Me


Easy sauces

They say taste is free. It’s darned easy too when you just add some sauce.

If there was ever a time to go long on veggies and salads, it is now, in the dim days of January when we are warding off seasonal affective disorder, flu season, sub zero temperatures and the lingering effects of holiday excess. If none of the above applies to you it’s probably because you’ve been eating your veggies all along. It’s not hard to do that if you plan ahead a bit, and it’s downright easy if you have a repertoire of go-to sauces that give even the humblest of greens and veggies some soul-satisfying mojo.

This is the first of a two-part installment aimed at getting a whole lot of fresh into your fridge and opening up Bring It possibilities like Deconstructed Lunch (coming atcha soon) instead of a boring old sandwich or sad-looking leftovers.

These sauces are all easy to prepare and most are lightening quick as well. They dress up salads, sandwiches, vegetables, grains, and pretty much anything (inanimate) that can be dressed. With any of these kicking around your fridge your meals need never be uninspired. Let’s start with the easiest and work from there.

Mi So Easy, Mi So Good…

I was afraid of miso’s new ageyness until I discovered this dressing. Now I always have miso on hand. This could not be easier, and reminds me of the strangely addictive dressing that comes on that distressingly tiny salad served at Japanese steakhouses. It is great as is, or made with rice vinegar if you don’t have lemons. As an added bonus, this doesn’t even require a food processor or blender.

Miso Tahini Dressing

from The Kitchn

Makes about 6 ounces

1/4 cup tahini
1 Tbsp red miso
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup or more warm water
freshly cracked black pepper


In a small bowl or lidded jar, combine the tahini, miso and lemon juice. Mix with a spoon into a smooth paste. Add the warm water gradually, stirring or shaking (if using a jar) until the dressing reaches desired consistency. It may need more than 1/4 cup. Taste for seasoning. Add pepper if desired. Store in the refrigerator for about a week. Dressing thickens up as it sits, so you will need to add more water to thin.

Healthy and Hearty…

I got this in a roundabout way from Jane Esselstyn who lived in the schoolhouse next door way back before her brother Rip became famous with his Engine 2 diet book. This versatile three-ingredient (plus water) sauce is a healthy, Esselstyn family favorite, featured in Rip and Jane’s latest book, My Beef with Meat as well.  Put it on anything from kale and quinoa to pizza and grilled cheese (and probably burgers, but don’t tell Rip and Jane).

 OMG Walnut Sauce

1 cup of walnuts
1-2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari sauce (soy sauce)
1/4 – 1/2 cup water, for desired consistency


Combine the walnuts, garlic and tamari in a food processor and blend, adding water until the desired texture is reached, (1/4 to 1/2 cup). Use more water for a thinner dressing, less water for a thicker dip.


Shallots are just plain magic. Mince them into any dressing, (like this one from Joy The Baker, also pictured above) and they make everything work.  This sauce is part of the more involved Spring Roll Salad  from 101 Cookbooks, which is a taste sensation. It requires roasting shallots, which is super easy and makes them even better if that is possible. As you know from roastarama. I can’t help filling up a high temp oven, so I threw more shallots and an unpeeled head of garlic onto the sheet as well. It’s pretty handy to have both on hand for anything that needs some cha-cha (dressings, hummus, stir fry’s, etc) throughout the week.

Roasted Shallot Peanut Sauce

Makes 2 cups

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tbsp natural sugar, preferably maple sugar or evaporated cane sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp shoyu
3 medium shallots, unpeeled
2 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice


Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Place the shallots on a parchment-covered baking sheet and roast until they are very tender and the juices have started to ooze out, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the shallots cool slightly, and then squeeze the pulp out of the skins. Place the shallot pulp and all the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. The sauce will keep, covered and refrigerated for up to a week. Heat or serve at room temperature.

And for some spice…

For a spicy girl trapped in a houseful of Yankees this sauce is money. Put it on anything that needs some zap, or just on toast or a piece of sharp cheddar. I love that it relies on jarred stuff from your pantry, and of course that it involves the blender. Oh, and it makes a great DIY gift.

Pantry Raid Spicy Sauce

From Food 52

Makes 2 cups (Where this recipe calls for ounces my guestimates are included. It’s not an exact science.)

4 ounces B&G hot cherry peppers or other pickled hot peppers, stemmed (a generous ¾ cup, or about 8)
2 ounces roasted red peppers (1/3 cup or so)
2 ounces crushed tomato  (same as above, about 1/3 cup)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp chile flakes
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and mix until slightly smooth.