I have to start by saying that I'm not usually all that creative about side dishes, even at the holidays. I've never made a green bean casserole although I'm sure it's very delicious. As I have mentioned, no one in my house gets excited about the veggies at Thanksgiving, so I have to admit I usually just make one so that I can at least look like I'm putting something green on the plate. (Ted is offended that I have not pointed out that he loves vegetables and especially these brussels sprouts. To be fair, I have yet to find any food item that Ted does not love.)
But I do love the look of brussels sprouts, especially when they are available on the stalk. They're just so pretty. I almost feel like I could use them as a centerpiece (and I'm sure it's been done). And, like artichokes, you have to give the first person to have eaten them some credit. They just don't look edible. But, alas, they are and they're quite tasty.
You can do lots of things with them as well. Brussels sprouts are delicious roasted with a little balsamic vinegar . They are also really good when they are sauteed. But my favorite preparation of this particular vegetable is in a chiffonade with poppy seeds. They require a little more preparation than other recipes but they are absolutely divine. And once you get them all cut up, the cooking goes very quickly.
You should definitely try this recipe for brussels sprouts if for no other reason than you can look chic and gourmet when you buy them on the stalk. (The recipe works just fine if you buy them already separated but the stalk is nifty just the same.)
Not only is this a really good recipe, it's very light. This is a good thing after all the stuffing, yams, and pie. And, as an added bonus, you get to toss around the word "chiffonade" which will make you sound like quite the chef!
Brussels Sprouts Chiffonade with Poppy Seeds
(Bon Appetit, November, 2004)
1 1/2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts, halved and cored
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Cut the brussels sprouts into thin (1/8 - 1/4 inch wide) shreds. Melt the better in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts and todd until just beginning to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and poppy seeds; toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper.