Wow! What a GREAT day at the Holiday Market yesterday. I had a blast! So many people stopped by to say hello. Lots of old friends and lots of new ones too. It was so much fun to talk with everyone and share the food love.
Many Jr chefs came to the table and hung out with me while I cooked, and you know me, I’m a sucker for the kiddos – just love them. Tons of fun talking with them and listening to what they like to make. One young lady was very verbal about the Brussels sprout I was slicing (her facial expression said it all!). And while she refrained from sampling, so many of the other kids (and grown-ups too) dove right in and eagerly sampled the Brussels sprouts tarts. Right on!
One of the things I love most about being at the market is the conversation generated at the table. People asking questions and sharing ideas. There was definitely a Brussels sprouts buzz happening on Sunday with plenty of thoughts being bandied about. Ideas were flying all over the place. Several people had never tried them before and we came up with wealth of information about how to cook them. Some of my favorites:
~ slice in half, toss with olive oil, salt & pepper and drizzle with maple syrup. roast at 400 degrees for about 25-35 minutes.
~ slice in half (leave smaller ones whole). dice 5-6 strips of bacon and toss in a large skillet. render the bacon until it begins to crisp then add the Brussels sprouts, and some salt & pepper. reduce the heat, cover the pan and let cook about 15-20 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan periodically. add some fresh (or frozen) corn if you like.
~ slice or grate very thinly, toss with a light lemon vinaigrette (DDs Dressing is PERFECT) and some toasted, sliced almonds & dried cranberries for a lovely salad.
A plethora of ways to serve up the humble sprout! Yesterday I decided to dress them up a bit and make a festive holiday appetizer. I served them to rave reviews (love it when that happens). Super simple and delish. Here’s the scoop:
*for those of you who are new to my methods, I use the “about” style of measurement. Quantities are loose and seasoning is to taste.
For the tarts:
1 pkg prepared pie dough (or use your own!)**
10-15 Brussels sprouts (depending on size – go for the medium-large ones), scrubbed, stemmed and sliced very thinly
1 small onion, diced
salt & pepper
Bondat Food’s All-Purpose Seasoning
West River Creamery blue cheese
Dove & Figs Blushing Tart jam
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. You’ll need 3-4 mini muffin pans and a round biscuit or cookie cutter (3-4”).
Roll out the pie dough and cut into rounds with your biscuit cutter. I used a flower-shaped one to give the cups a pretty look. Press the rounds into the bottoms of the muffin tins and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the pans and let cool. ** You can do this step ahead of time. Let them cool completely and then pop them into an airtight container at room temp for a few days. You can also freeze them and have a stack ready at a moment’s notice.
Place a medium skillet over med-high heat and coat the bottom with some olive oil. Add the onions and saute until just beginning to wilt. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt, pepper and Bondat’s all-purpose seasoning (so delicious and you can use it on just about anything!). Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts turn a brighter green and still retain a bit of their crunch. The whole process should only take about 10 minutes or so.
Place some of the Brussels sprouts in the bottom of the tart shell, top with a crumble of blue cheese and pop back into the oven just to melt the cheese a bit (2-3 minutes). Top with a dollop of the Blushing Tart jam (or, use your favorite cranberry relish. We’re going for a sweet-tart flavor to brighten up the saltiness of the blue cheese). You can skip the final blast in the oven if you are pressed for time or just don’t feel like that last step – they’ll be just as tasty!
This recipe will make about 50 tarts.
**Instead of pie dough, you can use pre-made filo tart shells (in the frozen section at the grocery store with the pie and puff pastry dough). Market Basket usually has them 2/$3 and there are 15 tart shells per pkg.
This would also be delicious with feta cheese, a strong goat cheese or even a grated Gruyere. Experiment and have fun!!
I also made a winter greens salad that is a snap to put together and has a little kick in the dressing from our friend Samira of Samira’s Homemade. It’s a nice, light and crisp addition to a holiday (or anytime) table.
I tossed together a package of greens from Red Fire Farm (about 1/3 – ½ pound), a large, sweet apple (diced), and a large carrot (grated). Excellent additions to this salad would be toasted almonds or maple glazed pecans, dried cranberries, orange slices, sunflower seeds, goat cheese – again, get creative and stir in what sounds good to you – it’s really all about what rocks your world. For the dressing, in a bowl or jar add one cup olive oil, 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, 2-3 TBSP of Samira’s Muhammara (roasted walnut & pomegranate spread – total awesomeness!) and a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Whisk or shake until well blended. This will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, if it lasts that long! Drizzle some of the dressing onto the salad and toss gently. Serve immediately. (6-8ppl)
That’s it for this time, friends. Thank you all again for coming out to say hello, and for those of you who missed us this Sunday, we’ll look forward to seeing you next month (December 21st – mark your calendar!).
As we think about the things we are thankful for this week, right at the top of my list of thanks is to all of you for your encouragement, community, and support. I am blessed to do what I love and share it with all of you. May your Thanksgiving be filled with an abundance of peace, joy, blessings and love.
Until next time – Eat Well and Nourish Your Soul!