Sunday, December 18, 2011

Brussels Sprouts for Christmas . . .

We've been zipping around Vancouver and its outskirts visiting family -- took my mom for a long walk and then out to lunch; had our won't-make-Christmas-on-the-island daughter for a sushi evening; visited Paul's parents; had dinner with his siblings. We've shopped our way down to the end of the lists and even fit in some hand-holding walks on our own and delighted in a date at the movies (Hugo -- wonderful!).

We've discovered a considerable plumbing problem at the apartment and today have to do some triage: can it be solved with a phone call or two this week or is it best set aside for the New Year (all valves shut off in the meanwhile, of course) so we can concentrate on the festivities. And, of course, we have to get home and start hauling in groceries, and chopping, peeling, mixing, baking, rolling, frying, dicing, braising and whatever-ing them. . .

But that doesn't mean we don't have time to share a new quick and yummy recipe that Paul's been playing with. This easy pickling approach is a surefire way to entice anyone to eat their Brussels Sprouts.

First, clean up by trimming stems and discarding straggly outer leaves, then chop 4 cups Sprouts in half. Boil until fork-tender. Meanwhile into 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar, stir 1/2 tsp mustard powder and 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt. I liked this iteration very much, but Paul's experimenting, in his latest batch, with 1/3 cup of sugar as one of the several recipes he studied added even more than this. He encourages you to play around with ingredients and proportions until you find a mix that has your family and friends gobbling up their veggies.  We'll be serving these as before-dinner crudités as often as they'll be on the table as vegetable side dishes. They make as good a nibble as a bowl of olives or nuts, and they're healthy!
Edited to Add: Oh no, says Pater! You forgot to tell your readers that they should bring the cider vinegar to a boil, then stir the seasoning in. Let it cool and when both vinegar and drained brussel sprouts are just warm . . . then 
The last step is to combine the cooked Sprouts with the vinegar seasoning, stirring together well, and leaving them in a covered container in the fridge for as long as you can resist them, at least 24 hours. Our last batch lasted that bare minimum, but we put a few containers away when we left home on Sunday, and we're looking forward to starting dinner with them when we get home today.

So there you are, a little gift from Pater to you. Enjoy!
And if you have any quick and yummy recipes you'd like to share in the comments, you know I'd love to hear them. . .


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun - and a lot of energy is required! I have to disclose that I've never met a Brussels sprout I could stand, so I don't think this recipe is in my future. But I'm sure it's very good.

  2. I like brussels sprouts but they are verboten around here so I get my yearly taste at the extended family gathering. This does sound delicious, though. I wonder what would happen if I included them on a tray with olives and such. At the very least, it would spark conversation.

  3. Oh, I adore brussels sprouts! Will have to try this. Hope the ramp-up to your holiday celebrations continues to be a mostly pleasant one, plumbing issues aside (it's always *something* isn't it??).

  4. Definitely trying this and thanks for the technique tip. Sometimes wonder why something a friend made, and then gave me the recipe is not quite the same; it's usually a little thing like cooling the dressing and sprouts to the right temp.

    Plumbing woes at holiday time, arrrgh.


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