Side Dish

Making the Best of Young Ginger

It’s been a busy week and again, we are in the mood for something refreshing. I noticed last week that young ginger is now available at the farmers market, so I picked some up. So many things can be made from it, and it  is so soft, tender and much easier to peel and grate. If you like ginger, and If you’ve never had ginger in this form before, you will love it!

Young ginger~ so tender

Young ginger~ so tender

I just made some cucumber namasu with what I bought on Saturday. If you’ve never had namasu before, it is a nice, little Japanese side dish made with uncooked vegetables, marinated in a simple vinaigrette. It’s then chilled and in the process, it becomes slightly pickled. The first time I ever had it, it was made from bitter melon, and it was absolutely delicious. An elderly, Japanese friend of Monty’s gave some to us, and what I loved about it was the bits of bean thread (also known as long rice or cellophane noodles) and imitation crab that was in it. Today I made it with Japanese cucumbers, and if you ask me, it really is about the marinade. Here’s how I did it:

1 large English cucumber (or several small Japanese cucumbers, if available)
1½ teaspoons salt
4 oz. mung bean or rice noodles
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (young ginger,
if available)
1 tablespoon bottled sushi ginger, chopped
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced crosswise
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon bottled sushi ginger liquid
1 teaspoon sesame oil (or to taste)
4 oz. flake crab meat, chopped (optional ~
imitation is okay)
1 tablespoon sesame seed (I used white and black)

——————————————————————————–

Place mung bean or rice noodles into a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to sit for 1 hour, then drain.

Snip the bean thread into small pieces

Snip the bean thread into small pieces

Snip into 1-2 inch lengths with kitchen shears, if you have them. Set aside.

 

Peel, seed and slice the cukes

Peel, seed and slice the cukes

Spoon out the seeds

Spoon out the seeds

Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and then cut into thin slices. Sprinkle the salt over the cucumbers and mixit in. Marinate in the fridge for about an hour, then rinse excess salt off with water. Drain, then gently squeeze out any water from the cucumbers. Pat them dry.

 

I like to add some sushi ginger juice

I like to add some sushi ginger juice

Chop the green onions and gingers, and place them into a bowl.

Heat rice vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, until the sugar dissolves. Cool. Mix in liquid from sushi ginger and the sesame oil.

 

Toss the ingredients, adding in the sesame seeds

Toss the ingredients, adding in the sesame seeds

Mix gingers, green onions, crabmeat and sesame seeds with the cucumbers.

Mix the bean thread in

Mix the bean thread in

Add the bean thread and toss again.

 

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours

Cover and refrigerate for a few hours

Dress with cooled dressing and chill for several hours.

 

A sprinkling of furikake makes a good garnish

A sprinkling of furikake makes a good garnish

Garnish with some furikake, if you have some.

Serves 4.

Namasu with bean thread

Namasu with bean thread

A cool, refreshing side dish

A cool, refreshing side dish

We enjoy our summer dinners on the lanai. I served this with one of our favorites~  Chinese pork with long squash, which I posted a few weeks ago. Delicious together!

dinner

Dinner on the lanai~ namasu served with Chinese pork and long squash

Dinner on the lanai~ namasu served with Chinese pork and long squash

Namasu with bean thread

Namasu with bean thread

“Rummy O’Gray’s” Fabulous Spinach Salad

My Monty has a nickname. It’s Rummy O’Gray. He actually got this name from when he was buying and selling stuff on eBay, using their username generator. The generator would ask questions like, “What do you like to drink?” and “What is your favorite color?” and somehow he ended up with this. He also considers it his “pirate” name, which is appropriate enough, since he has always been a sailor. He still is a sailor in his heart, though he doesn’t have a boat right now.

Anyway, way back in day when we first met, Monty would frequently cook me dinner. He would impress me, (like a good man should)  with some really spectacular stuff like stuffed mushrooms, steak salad and his very own version of chicken long rice. Of all those things he cooked for me back then, none was ever as memorable as his spinach salad. There is a lot to love about this classic, from the fresh healthy greens, juicy tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and the simple, but extra-special dressing. Soon enough, you’ll see why I chose this moniker to describe this dish! What I will tell you now is that the dressing can be lit at the end for dramatic effect!

BACON!

Bacon!

I also know the bacon lovers will adore this one, too~ Yes, it does have bacon in it! It not only has bacon in it, but the drippings from the pan that the bacon was fried in are used to make the dressing.  We tend to only have this once in a while, for that reason, but It’s a very, thoroughly enjoyed treat, when we do.

Okay, now that I have everyone’s attention, here is what you’ll need:

What's needed

What’s needed

For the salad

8 oz. fresh young spinach, washed and spun dry (or buy the pre-washed stuff and save yourself a little time)

4 slices bacon (I like to use uncured)

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped

¼ cup red onion, chopped

8 oz. fresh white mushrooms, stems removed and slice thin

1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced

1 avocado, sliced

For the dressing

juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon honey

1 oz. of rum

A bit of bacon fat and this...

A bit of bacon fat and this…

Ok, now see that last ingredient? That’s what this is all about!

Toss ingredients before adding spinach

Toss ingredients before adding spinach

In a large bowl, place tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs and onion. Toss very gently to mix ingredients. Set aside.

Fry the bacon in a frying pan. Drain and cool bacon on paper toweling; set aside, saving drippings in pan. The drippings will become the oil in the dressing.

If there is a lot of bacon grease, remove some once it’s cooled a bit, so you have approximately ¼ cup left in the pan. Gently heat the grease and add in the lemon juice and honey. The grease should sizzle, when these are added. Carefully add in the rum and cook for about 3 minutes, or if you like drama, light with a match or lighter so the alcohol burns off. (I tried to get a photo of this and failed. Oh, well…)

Rummy O'Gray, himself

Rummy O’Gray, himself

I did get this photo of Rummy O’Gray, who insisted I take a photo of him with flash. I hate flash photos, but I did want to accommodate the dressing chef!

Add spinach and avocado

Add spinach and avocado

Add sliced avocado and spinach into the salad and gently toss. Pour warm bacon dressing over salad and gently toss again.

Mmmmmm….

Mmmmmm….

Another yummy summer supper

Another yummy summer supper

Spinach salad with bacon

Rummy O’Gray’s Spinach Salad with Bacon & Eggs

Serve immediately and enjoy! The only thing we’re adding to this to make it a meal, is some sourdough bread. Yippee!

 

 

 

A Great Stuffing for a Giant Zucchini

I love zucchini. I have a lot of memories of eating it fresh from the garden, because my grandmother grew it in her backyard.  It is a favorite summer veggie, because it’s plentiful, easy to fix and nutritious. Here’s a fun and delicious side dish, using the beautiful zucchini that is showing up now at the farmers markets. In fact, we got a really big one last Saturday.

BIG zucchini

BIG zucchini

This recipe serves 6, and that’s what the ingredient list is geared for, (especially if you’re having guests for dinner, and this recipe is perfect for that) but I cut it down just for the two of us. If you like Italian food, this recipe is well worth a try.

3 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 oz. baby bella or white mushrooms, chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups bread crumbs

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

¼ cup parsley, chopped fine

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1½ cups Parmesan cheese, divided (or any Italian cheese)

½ teaspoon salt

———————————————————————————————————————————

Preheat oven to 350º F. Lightly grease (or spray with cooking spray) a 15-x-11-inch baking dish.

Make a boat by scooping out the inside

Make a boat by scooping out the inside

Using a melon baller or a spoon, remove pulp from zucchini, leaving a ¼-inch thick shell. It helps to carefully score around the circumference of the zucchini with a knife, before spooning out the pulp. Place zucchini “boats,” cut-side up in a prepared baking dish, and set aside.

Chop the zucchini "scoopings"

Chop the zucchini “scoopings”

Finely chop the zucchini pulp. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and zucchini pulp; cook for 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Chop mushrooms and bell pepper

Chop mushrooms and bell pepper

Combine mushrooms and peppers with zucchini mixture

Combine mushrooms and peppers with zucchini mixture

Add mushrooms and bell pepper; cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add bread crumbs, 1 cup of the cheese, sour cream or yogurt, thyme, parsley and salt, stirring to combine.

Stuff the "boats"

Stuff the “boats”

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Divide mixture among zucchini shells, making smooth, rounded mounds. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining  cup of cheese. Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes.

Serve

Serve!

Stuffed zucchini

Stuffed zucchini

Great served with pasta

Great served with pasta

Serves 6.

When It’s Too Warm to Cook…

Natural, Italian sausages~ such a good price

Natural, Italian sausages~ such a good price

I got these nice, Italian chicken sausages on sale, and I was trying to think of something that would go well with them. It’s been pretty warm, so I didn’t really feel like heating up the kitchen with pasta sauce, soup or anything else that would need to be cooked for a long time.

So here’s some insight into how my brain works in dealing with such things. I got to thinking, and something in my brain thought of hot dogs and beans. Okay, that’s more like apples and oranges, but then I thought that Italian-style beans might work out. That’s when I thought of bean salad, but I didn’t really want to do that soggy three-bean thing that comes in a can~ I wanted something fresher. I have dried cannellini beans, but I didn’t want to do an overnight soak, and I certainly didn’t want to have to cook them on the stove for hours. Checking the cupboard, I did have canned cannellini beans and that’s when things started coming together.

I really wanted to use stuff I had gotten from the farmers market over the weekend… that would be the usual red onion, parsley and basil. I also had some roasted red peppers in the refrigerator, too.

Here’s what I did… please note how easy it would be to double or triple this for a crowd, or just for extra servings.

Cannellini beans and the usual farmers market herbs

Cannellini beans and the usual farmers market herbs

For the salad

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

¼ cup roasted red peppers (from a jar), chopped

For the dressing

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sweet basil

1 good pinch of dried oregano

1 good pinch of red pepper flakes

salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Simply put the first three ingredients into a serving bowl.

Add ingredients into a non-reactive bowl

Add ingredients into a non-reactive bowl

 

Finely chop herbs and garlic together… they are all going into the same jar, anyway.

Chop garlic, parsley and basil together

Chop garlic, parsley and basil together

 

Add the herbs into jar, along with the olive oil, wine vinegar, oregano and red pepper flakes. Shake it up! Taste, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Shake dressing ingredients together

Shake dressing ingredients together

 

Gently stir the dressing into the beans.

Stir dressing into beans

Stir dressing into beans

 

This salad is just as good at room temperature as it is chilled.

Italian bean salad

Italian bean salad

 

Now this is what I call Italian-style “hot dogs and beans!”

Great with Italian sausage

Great with Italian sausage

 

Serve it outside for maximum enjoyment.

A fresh and healthy side dish

A fresh and healthy side dish

 

Enjoy!

It even has Italian colors!

It even has Italian colors!

 

It’s Kam Day~ Bring on da Chicken Long Rice!

Today is King Kamehameha’s Birthday, (Kam Day, to us folks who live here) so I am up for sharing a special Hawai‘ian recipe to celebrate! In case you didn’t know, King Kamehameha was the monarch who united the Hawai‘ian Islands, back in the 19th century. It’s a state holiday, so if you’re a working person, it’s a nice little break between Memorial Day and The Fourth of July. There is a big floral parade on the Saturday closest to June 11th, with lots of pageantry, marching bands, and pa‘u riders.

Pa‘u rider

Pa‘u rider

Pa‘u riders are beautiful Hawaiian women dressed in 19th Century riding gowns on horseback, bedecked with lei and other floral arrangements.

The Honolulu King Kamehameha statue on his birthday celebration, 2009

The Honolulu King Kamehameha statue on his birthday celebration, 2009

It’s a lot of fun to go downtown and check out the Kamehameha statue to see it bedecked in lei, too.

Chicken Long Rice

Chicken Long Rice

Anyway I’d like to celebrate by having a dish that’s usually a staple at a modern-day luau. It’s called chicken long rice, and it’s easy for someone like me to make, since I can’t dig an imu to roast a pig on our lanai. Most of the people reading this should be able to find these ingredients, which makes it more fun for everyone. If you have trouble, check your Asian food section at your local grocery.

Technically, chicken long rice really isn’t Hawaiian, but rather more Cantonese. The recipe came to the islands, back in the 1800s with the Chinese laborers, but the Asian influence has been so strong in Hawai‘i, people really don’t think twice about having a non-Hawai‘ian food, at a traditional Hawai‘ian feast. It is a kind of comfort food to many people, and you’ll soon see that it’s much like chicken soup, though there’s just enough liquid in the dish to float the noodles, rather than they be “swimming” in it.

Mung bean thread (long rice)

Mung bean thread (long rice)

 

Just make sure that you are buying “long rice,” rather than Asian vermicelli noodles, which are opaque. The are two different things. You want the ones that look more like cellophane.

Shitake mushrooms, celery, and carrots make chicken long rice much healthier

Shitake mushrooms, celery, and carrots make chicken long rice much healthier

 

This recipe is even more non-traditional, since I like having a few more veggies in mine. This is an adaptation of Sam Choy’s recipe, which suits me better. If you’d like to try, you’ll need:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs~ that’s about 2 large ones

2½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

1-inch thumb of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

½ medium sweet onion, (Maui, if possible) minced (I used one small one… same thing)

½ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

2 carrots, julienned

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced cross-wise

6 ounces mung bean noodles (also known as cellophane noodles or long rice)

salt to taste

6 scallions, sliced cross-wise

 

Place the long rice into a large bowl, cover with warm water, and let it soak for an hour. Meanwhile, place the chicken breasts in a pan, cover with water and boil until just cooked. Remove from heat and allow to cool, at least enough to be able to handle it.

Julienne or slice these thinly

Julienne or slice these thinly

 

While the chicken is cooking, (and cooling) chop the veggies. Everything should be thinly sliced.

Slice mushrooms thinly, too

Slice mushrooms thinly, too

 

Make sure you remove the stems from the shitake mushrooms, also… they are somewhat toxic, while the rest of mushroom is fine. If you can’t find fresh ones, dried ones are fine also, though you’ll need to reconstitute them.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until tender and translucent. Add in the ginger, celery and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and stir. Allow the veggies to cook in the broth for a few minutes.

Shred chicken

Shred chicken

 

The last things you want to add are the chicken, long rice and green onion. Drain the long rice and cut into smaller pieces. I usually snip handfuls of the slippery stuff with kitchen shears, otherwise you’ll never get a spoonful~ it’s worse than spaghetti! Stir in the chicken, long rice and garnish with the green onions. Make sure you taste the broth and adjust salt to taste.

Luau food!

Luau food!

You can add additional onions as a garnish if you wish.

Simple, comfort food, for many

Simple, comfort food, for many

 

If it needs more seasoning, a dash of shoyu (soy sauce) and/or hot sauce (better yet, if you can access some chili pepper water) will usually do the trick.

 

A tasty spoonful

A tasty spoonful

 

Have a great “Kam Day” and Aloooooooha!

 

 

 

Italian-Style String Beans, Inspired by the Past

Farmers market fresh

Farmers market fresh

I got these string beans at the farmers market over the weekend. It’s true I have a hard time resisting rainbow veggies, and the moment I saw these, they reminded me of my great-grandmother on my father’s side. She was French, and the most I know about her is that she lived in Louisiana, and eventually moved to San Francisco. Many things she cooked, including these, had a Southern style to them, in spite of her European-ness. The beans remind me of a very specific recipe that she would cook on holidays, which was string beans cooked in bacon and shallots. I’ll be honest and tell you that I don’t know what her method was, but those veggies were  very well done! I mean, they were quite over-cooked. In fact, they were boiled to death! But at that young age, I really didn’t much care. It wasn’t until a bit later, that my palate developed into that love of tender-crispness, the style that California vegetables tend to be cooked in. So, I had a thought that since I was cooking Italian food, (that’s my lovely Caprese Lasagna Roll Ups) I could channel just a bit of my great-grandma and get a bit of the flavor, without the too-done-for-my-taste texture.

Shallot

Shallots

The shallots were easy enough to find.

The prosciutto end is inexpensive, if you can find it

The prosciutto end is inexpensive, if you can find it

What I decided to use instead of bacon was a bit of prosciutto. Honolulu doesn’t have a lot of delicatessens, but we do have a couple of stores with gourmet sections. I went to the Foodland nearby and found the price of prosciutto prohibitively expensive at $22.00 a pound. I swallowed and told the clerk I just wanted one slice. She looked at me quizzically and asked me what I was using it for, and I told here that it was just to add flavor. That’s when she made the suggestion to just buy an end. I didn’t even realize that they sold them like that, and at the total price of only $2.99, I felt I had scored.

Simple ingredients here:

1 pound green beans, any kind

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small shallot

1 prosciutto end, or 1 small slice prosciutto, chopped into small pieces

1 dash white pepper

That’s it. You probably won’t need salt, since the prosciutto has some in it.

Trim and cut diagonally

Trim and cut diagonally

Wash the beans, trim and slice diagonally. I made the slices kind of thin, because these beans can be tougher that the thinner variety. In fact, I’ll come right out and tell you not to bother with the paler ones~ they ere extremely tough. But, the rest of them were quite good.

Drain and cool

Drain and cool

Steam the beans for about 10 minutes. They won’t be quite done, but they are going to get another cooking. Drain them and set aside.

Mince the shallot

Mince the shallot

Mince the shallot and chop the prosciutto into small pieces In a medium-sized frying pan, sauté the shallot and prosciutto until tender and fragrant. Add the string beans and cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring to combine ingredients. Sprinkle with a dash of white pepper.

Italian-style Beans with Shallot and Prosciutto

Italian-style Beans with Shallot and Prosciutto

Turn into a bowl and serve.

Perfect with Italian food

Perfect with Italian food

They go wonderful with any kind of Italian food. Enjoy!

Herb Roasted Potatoes~ The Best Roasted Potatoes, Ever

Herb Roasted Potatoes

Herb Roasted Potatoes

I know I told you on Easter that you might be hearing about my roasted potatoes. I’m sharing this recipe just because it is so good, and because there is a little trick I know that really makes them come out good. These potatoes are a very favorite way to cook them, mainly because they are soft on the inside and a bit crispy on the outside. They also have lots of flavor from the onion, herbs and garlic.

In spite of how common and simple potatoes are, they seem to be getting more interesting all the time. Check these out…

"Simple Amazing," says the label  I like the purple net bag, personally...

“Simple Amazing,” says the label.
I like the purple net bag, personally…

Don’t you just love that purple net bag? I get the feeling the marketers are trying to appeal to the female in us.

Fresh from the farmers market!

Fresh from the farmers market!

I also like farmers market potatoes. The ingredients list for this recipe is very simple.

Simple ingredients

Simple ingredients

You’ll need:

5-6 small potatoes (maybe more, if you are using fingerlings or something as small)

1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rings

olive oil, about 2 tablespoons

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed (or a sprinkle of garlic powder~ your choice)

1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced

1-3 sprigs fresh thyme (dried is okay, too)

Salt (and pepper, if desired)

Sea salt to finish

potatoes3

Scrub the potatoes, cut out any eyes, and dice into bit-sized pieces. Or, cut the little round ones in half.

Let them soak for at least an hour

Let them soak for at least an hour

The next step is really important to get the best texture ever: soak the diced potatoes in cold water in a medium-sized bowl and leave them there for at least one hour. I understand that this is also a healthier way to do this, just because some of the starch (which equals sugar) soaks out. But the main result is that when you roast them, you get a nice soft inside and slightly crispy outside.

They will take about an hour to cook, so whenever your ready to get them started, give the potatoes a final rinse and drain them in a colander or strainer for a few minutes.

potatoes7

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350°  and arrange your sliced onion into the bottom of a pie plate or baking dish.

potatoes5

In the same medium-sized bowl (after washing, of course) put the potatoes in along with the minced rosemary, thyme, (I didn’t have enough fresh thyme, so I had to add some dried to it) garlic, a shake or two of the salt shaker and a good drizzle of olive oil.

potatoes6

Stir the all the ingredients together to coat the potatoes.

Place potatoes over the onions

Place potatoes over the onions

Arrange the potatoes over the onions, making sure that all of the oil left in the bowl follows the potatoes in the dish. Put them into the oven to roast. The first thing you will smell in a couple of minutes is the onion…. heaven!

You will need to stir them periodically to make sure that they cook evenly. You’ll know when they are done, when you test them with a fork; the inside will be soft and the outside will be slightly browned and and a little crispy.

Remove from oven, sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Done. Delicious.

Done. Delicious.

 

Leftovers are great with eggs

Leftovers are great with eggs

If you have leftovers, they are wonderful for breakfast. I usually slice a little more onion into a frying pan coated with oil, add some diced bell pepper and add in the potatoes. They will be done by the time the onion gets slightly browned.

Happy roasting!

 

 

 

Colcannon~ Make Those Irish Mashed Potatoes Healthy!

colcannon1

We bought a beautiful, uncured corned beef for tonight’s dinner, and I thought I’d try to make something different, rather than just the regular old potatoes, cabbage and carrots. I guess I got inspired by baking Irish soda bread yesterday, because I felt like I wanted to do another traditional Irish dish. A little bit of research brought me to a colcannon recipe~ mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. Sounded really good, but I thought to myself, why not use both kale and cabbage?

Uncured corned beef…. mmmm!

Uncured corned beef…. mmmm!

The only thing that made me think I might not make this is the fact that Monty likes his corned beef and cabbage soupy, and I like mine dry. These choices came about due to how our  individual families served this particular food, and the way I see it, it just wouldn’t be that hard to have it both ways. Besides, colcannon looks to be really easy!

So off to another cooking adventure I go!

You’ll need:

6-7 red, yellow or white potatoes~ I’m using these because we got them at our local farmer’s market, but you can use russets, if you like.  You likely just won’t need as many because they are larger.

3 cups diced cabbage and or kale

3 green onions including green tops, minced

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk

salt & pepper to taste

chopped parsley for garnish

Wash and dice the potatoes. Place them into a large pan, cover with water, add two teaspoons of salt and boil until fork tender. Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, chop the kale and cabbage.

colcannon3

In the same pot, melt the butter, and then add the cabbage and kale. Cook and stir until wilted. Add the minced green onions and cook for a minute longer.

Wilt the greens in butter

Wilt the greens in butter

Add the milk to the pot and allow it to heat up, until just before it starts to boil. Add some salt and pepper and stir it into the greens..

colcannon5

When the milk is hot, add the potatoes to the pot and mash together. Yes, I do use a hand masher… I’m an old-fashioned girl! You’ll need to taste to see if it needs more salt, taste and adjust if necessary.

colcannon6

 

Turn into a serving bowl, put a nice pat of butter on top and sprinkle on the minced parsley. This makes about 4 servings, and I’m sure it will make wonderful leftovers for the 2 of us.  Enjoy the rest of your St. Patrick’s Day~ I know we will!

colcannon7

Italian-Style Brussels Sprouts with “Little Fishies” and Capers

I admit it. I have not always liked the little fishies that you can buy in the can. You know the ones I mean… anchovies. I was a little bit hesitant to try this recipe a few weeks ago, but I’m really glad I did, because we both love it! Monty was prompted to cook dinner last night, so he picked up some brussels sprouts yesterday, even though we had asparagus that needed to be used first. That was all good, because it gave me a chance today to gather what I needed to make this wonderful veggie dish again. This is adapted from Sunset Magazine, but I really added quite a bit more of all ingredients~ I really love food with strong flavor.

brussel_sprouts1

If you’d like to try, you will need:

1 lb of brussels sprouts
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
approx. 3 tablespoons of capers, drained
2-3 cloves of garlic
4-5 oil packed anchovies
about a teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes
1/2 lemon

Wash the brussels sprouts, and then trim and halve. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then blanch the sprouts for about 3-5 minutes (depending on size) until they are a brilliant green. They just need to be slightly more tender.

brussel_sprouts2

Drain and set aside.

While they are draining, chop the anchovies.

brussel_sprouts3

Next, mince the garlic, or if you like, use a garlic press, like I usually do… it seems faster.

brussel_sprouts4

Once the anchovies are garlic are prepared, you are ready to put this together. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the capers to the oil~ they should sizzle and sputter. Cook them, stirring a few times until they turn brown, about 5 minutes.

brussel_sprouts56

Drain on paper towels.

Add in the garlic and anchovies until fragrant. Mama Mia! That smell right there is heaven! At that point, add in the brussels sprouts and red pepper flakes and continue to cook on medium-high heat. Continue cooking until the brussels sprouts get a bit brown on the outside, then transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle the capers over the sprouts, then squeeze the lemon over all.

brussel_sprouts5

This is now ready to be served and enjoyed! Bellissimo!

brussel_sprouts6