Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates & Chestnuts

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For the freshest sprouts, seek out these green gems on the stalk.

I can’t get enough of these cruciferous veggies! When Brussel Sprouts are roasted with garlic, their flavor really pops.  The additional tastes and textures from chestnuts and pomegranate seeds really adds to this dish.  I highly recommend farm fresh slab bacon in this recipe, but if you can’t find it, try a natural Sunday bacon or pancetta instead.

And for gardeners, remember to harvest Brussel Sprouts after a frost or two. They are hardy enough to withstand the drop in temp which only adds to their sweetness.

1 Brussels sprout stalk (approx. 50 sprouts)
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ounces farm bacon
1 large leek, chopped
1/2 cup chestnuts, chopped
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Seeds from one-half of a pomegranate
Balsamic vinegar to drizzle
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a heavy skillet, cook bacon until crisp and let drain on paper towels. Trim sprouts from the stalk and cut each one in half, top to stem. In a large bowl, toss sprouts with 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic (a good quality garlic olive oil or garlic sea salt works in a pinch if you want to skip mincing garlic). Add sea salt and pepper to taste, and more oil if needed to throughly coat. Toss again.

Place on a baking sheet face down and roast for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in the same bowl, toss leeks and chestnuts with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle over sprouts. Continue roasting until sprouts are soft and caramelized on the bottom. Top leaves will also brown and dry resembling parchment paper which adds to the texture and taste of the dish, although be careful not to over-roast or burn.

Remove from oven and toss with pomegranate seeds and crumbled bacon  in the baking sheet to warm up all ingredients. Transfer to a serving dish or platter and drizzle with an aged balsamic vinegar (I love fig balsamic vinegar on the dish). Serve.

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Sweet Potato Maple Pecan Souffle

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Serve this as a sweet side dish with your Thanksgiving meal or as a dessert paired with vanilla coconut ice “cream” for an autumn treat.

This recipe is inspired by a Thanksgiving family favorite first made by my sis-in-law Abby (who probably found the original recipe in Gourmet magazine, but not sure).

Nonetheless, I’ve “freshened up” this dish by omitting butter, using gluten free flour along with non-dairy coconut milk and cut out refined sugar.

Maple syrup makes the souffle sweat – use a specialty maple syrup for an extra boost such as bourbon or vanilla bean, being mindful to adjust vanilla and almond extracts if needed. Top it all off with coconut palm sugar and pecans for a nutty crust.

Souffle
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons oat or gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Topping
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Steam potatoes on the top of a double boiler until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and whip with a hand mixer. Add olive oil, eggs, maple syrup, flour, vanilla and almond extract. Add milk. Beat until smooth.  If too watery, add a bit more flour. Place sweet potato mixture in an oiled souffle dish or several smaller ramekins. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of souffle. Bake large souffle for 1 hour or until set in the middle. Lessen baking time for smaller ramekins.

Smashed Turnips with Garlicky Spinach Greens

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This dish goes from ho-hum to delish with the added color and taste of garlicky spinach greens.

Rutabaga, more commonly referred to as a yellow turnip, is an autumn favorite root veggie with pairs well with olive oil instead of butter. Flavors are zapped up by cooking turnips in vegetable stock and adding freshly grated nutmeg. Milk or cream is cut out or add almond milk if you want some non-dairy creaminess.

1 yellow turnip (rutabaga)
32 ounces vegetable broth
1/4 cup plus 2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup packed spinach
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Peel rutabaga, cut into cubes and place in a medium stockpot.  Add enough vegetable stock to cover the turnips and boil until tender. Drain liquid and smash turnips in the pot using a coarse masher for texture. Add nutmeg and olive oil and stir. Salt and pepper to taste. In a separate pan, saute garlic in 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil until softened.  Add spinach and saute until just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir spinach into turnip mixture.