Again – Brussels sprouts are amazing. Roasted Brussels sprouts are even better. But add this fish sauce vinaigrette, and I think I’ve found another mainstay recipe here – this is savory and healthy and just simple to throw together.

I got this recipe from the Lucky Peach power veggies cookbook, and god do I miss that website. I changed it from the more general roasted veggies to just sprouts, because frankly they’re cheaper, and I need to eat more green things. They’re ready in under a half hour, and even the vinaigrette is pretty simple to throw together, especially if you regularly cook with southeast Asian ingredients.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T chopped fresh mint
  • Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
    • .25 c fish sauce (I upped this to probably a half cup at least, I like the taste)
      .25 c water
      2 T rice vinegar
      2 T lime juice (only had lemon on hand, probably used 1 T and added a bit extra sugar to compensate)
      .25 c sugar
      3 garlic cloves, minced (I cheated and used pre-minced, a large spoonful)
      1 t sambal oelek

    Preheat the oven to 425. Halve your sprouts, toss them with olive oil, and if you have the energy for it, place it facedown on the baking sheet, because that increase the caramelization. Keep some space between them too, this helps with the browning and crispness. When the oven is ready, roast for 25 mins, until they’re charred in places and tender.

    While the sprouts roast, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients in a large bowl.

    As soon as the sprouts are out of the oven, add the fresh chopped mint and the roasted sprouts to the bowl, and toss it all together. And then, enjoy the amazing end result!

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    So, this is something I’ve been meaning to try and make for a while, but it didn’t work out until recently. Standard warning with Tieghan’s recipes – you will need to significantly up the simmer time for the lentils if you don’t want them very toothsome. The time I’m giving is for lentils that are on the softer side. Definitely want to try this again in the nearish future. Especially with the Gruyere toasts.

    Caramelized Onion French Lentils

    Lasts two meals for two

    Ingredients

    • 2 T olive oil
    • 2 medium sweet onions (or 1 large), sliced thin
    • 1 T brown sugar
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
    • 1 T balsamic vinegar
    • 1 c red wine
    • 3 c veggie stock
    • 1 c puy (aka French green) lentils, rinsed
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 thyme sprigs
    • Sea salt and pepper

    Heat a medium sized pot over medium high heat, and add the olive oil to heat them. Add the sliced onions and brown sugar and cook for about ten minutes. Stir frequently (pic one). Continue cooking the onions, scraping the browned bits and stirring frequently until the onions are a nice golden brown, about another ten minutes (pic 2). Add in the garlic and cook another 30 seconds, until fragrant.

    Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, and veggie stock (pic 3), and then bring the broth to a boil (pic 4). Once boiling, add the lentils, bay leaves, and thyme sprigs, and then season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper (pic 5).

    Reduce to a simmer and then simmer for about an hour plus (I think this ended up being closer to an hour and a half, unsure because I tried it at first, realized they were kind of uncooked, and then reheated and added more stock and simmered it down more). (Either way, pic 6 is what it will look like.) Remove the thyme and bay leaves, and then taste to see if you like the seasoning – if you don’t, add more salt and pepper. And then enjoy the caramelized French onion soup but with lentils!

    And for the next time I do the cheesy toasts – adding the recipe down here!

    Ingredients

    • Sourdough bread slices
    • 1 T butter to split among your chosen bread
    • Shredded Gruyere cheese

    Heat your broiler to high, spread the butter on the slices and then top evenly with cheese and place on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler and heat 30 secs to a minute until the cheese has melted.

    Heh, fell behind on recipes again, it happens. Still, whoops. Little bit of catchup to do here.

    So, I continue to attempt to find new and interesting ways to cook up Brussels sprouts, and the rule generally seems to be sprouts + roasting + some part of pig = extremely yes. Good times.

    Ina Garten’s Brussels Sprouts

    Lasts 2-3 lunches as a side

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts, halved (unless v small)
    • 4 oz cubed pancetta (you can find this at TJ’s)
    • .25 c olive oil
    • Dash sea salt
    • Dash fresh ground pepper
    • .5 c balsamic vinegar

    Preheat your oven to 400, put together the halved Brussels sprouts, pancetta, sea salt and fresh ground pepper along with the olive oil, toss together, and spread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Once the oven is warmed, roast the sprouts until they’re browned and tender, and the pancetta is cooked – about thirty minutes or so. Toss them once around fifteen to twenty minutes in.

    For the balsamic, take a small pan and simmer over medium high heat until its reduced by half and looks thick and syrupy. Balsamic burns quickly once it starts thickening, so if it looks too thick or dark, remove it from heat immediately to be on the safe side.

    Once the balsamic is reduced and the sprouts are roasted, drizzle the sprouts with the balsamic and then toss them together. Taste them to see if the seasoning is to your taste and then adjust as necessary. And then enjoy!

    So, I’ve been on a bit of a Brussels sprouts kick, as I’ve discovered they a) taste amazing, especially roasted, and b) I should probably be eating a bit more greens than I do currently, because health is a thing!

    This is a perfect intersection of low energy prep and amazing taste. Considering doing a double batch in the near future.

    Ina Garten’s Balsamic Brussel Sprouts

    Lasts appx 3 lunches as a side

    Ingredients

    • 1.5 lbs Brussels sprouts halved (used closer to 1 lb)
    • 4 oz pancetta diced (or just pick up pre diced from TJ’s like I did)
    • .25 c olive oil
    • Dash sea salt
    • Pinch fresh ground pepper
    • 1 T syrupy balsamic vinegar (or .25 to .5 c reduced to syrupyness over heat)

    Preheat your oven to 400, and while it preheats, toss together your halved sprouts, pancetta, olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once preheated, roast until the sprouts are browned nicely and the pancetta is cooked (and it looks like the second pic in general, roughly 20 to 30 mins, watch your oven to see what it does).

    If you have your balsamic vinegar at a syrupy consistency already, go you, all you have to do is toss it with the roasted sprouts and you’re good to go! If you don’t, place .25 to .5 c in a small pot and simmer over medium high heat until reduced by half and syrupy. (Be careful – balsamic burns easily once it starts thickening.)

    And then, enjoy the amazingness.

    This recipe comes from Nancy Singleton Hachisu’s Preserving the Japanese Way, and is a variant on a recipe from an earlier cookbook of hers. I added my own twists to the recipe, and the end result is pretty damn good. I need to follow my own advice from earlier in this blog for poaching eggs, though – I tried rushing it here, and ended up with an egg blob. ^^;

    Country Miso and Vegetable Soup

    Ingredients

    • 2.5 c dashi
    • 1 medium daikon (about .25 lbs), scrubbed
    • 1 medium carrot, scrubbed
    • 2-3 spring onions (negi if you have them)
    • 1.5 T awase miso paste (blend of red and white miso)
    • lemon (or yuzu if you can find it you lucky bastard) zest
    • poached egg to top (if you’re so inclined)
    • (I also added some fried tofu chunks)

    Take your daikon and carrot, and make sure they’ve been scrubbed (they won’t need to be peeled unless there are blemishes, or they’re too tough). Half the carrot lengthwise, and then slice into thin half-moons, and set aside. Take your daikon, halve it lengthwise, and then halve those halfs (so that you wind up with quarters), and slice into thin wedges. Take the spring onions, cut the white and pale green parts into thin slices (save the tops for garnish), and then toss with the daikon pieces.

    Warm your dashi (if you didn’t make it right before starting the soup, that’s what I usually do), until it comes to a gentle simmer. Then, add your carrot slices, and cook for three minutes over medium heat. Add the daikon and spring onions right after, cooking for another three minutes.

    Nancy recommends thinning the miso paste with a small bit of the broth at this point separately, but I just whisked the miso right into the broth. Remove from heat, and add the spring onion tops and lemon zest to the broth. I also added in fried tofu at this point. If you’re so inclined, add a poached egg to top it all off, and enjoy the amazing flavor combinations!

    Again, another simple, quick, and depending on the state of your pantry, reasonably cheap side dish. Farmer’s markets have lots of tender new potatoes for good prices this time of year, and if you live near a good Indian market (or, say, within a short train ride of Little India in Chicago), you can find ghee for reasonably cheap. From there, just add sea salt and pepper, and the sage to infuse the ghee with. 

    Pan Roasted New Potatoes Browned with Sage Infused Ghee

    • 1 lb new potatoes (I believe these were red or fingerlings?)
    • 4 T ghee
    • ~20 fresh sage leaves, torn, if you have them – otherwise ~2 T dried sage
    • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add your potatoes in, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes (I went with 15), until fork tender. Drain the potatoes. 

    In a medium sized pan (original recipe recommends a cast iron pan, this works just fine with a normal pan if you don’t have one/don’t want to get it out), melt the ghee, adding the sage as it melts. Add the potatoes in a single layer once melted, and cook over medium, turning/stirring the potatoes every four to five minutes or so, until they’re browned on all sides (which should take around 20 minutes). 

    Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and then enjoy your crispy potatoes!

    This is a great, simple recipe that also happens to be healthy and light on the effort. And since green beans are in season and in glut at the farmer’s market, this is also excessively cheap – all you should need is a lemon, butter, and sea salt and pepper besides the green beans. 

    Lemon Butter Green Beans

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb green beans, destemmed (I probably got closer to two lbs and doubled the recipe accordingly)
    • 1 T butter
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 4 T lemon juice
    • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

    Take your green beans, and destem them. If they’re particularly long, halve or third them. Once destemmed, rinse the beans in a colander. 

    Put your beans in a large pan, and add about an inch of water (it will likely just barely cover the beans). Cover the pan, and heat over medium high heat, allowing the water to just barely come to a boil. Steam/simmer the beans for three to five minutes, until bright green and just barely tender (see difference between pic 1 and 2). Remove the beans from heat, turn the burner off, and drain. 

    Return the beans to the pan and the turned off burner, and add in the butter, sea salt, pepper, and a pinch of the lemon zest and juice. Toss to coat, and let the butter melt using the residual heat. Once melted, add the remaining zest and juice, taste, and add more sea salt and pepper depending on your taste.