Winter time in Colorado doesn’t offer much in the way of seasonal and local eating. The fields are bare, recovering from the last growing season and getting ready for spring. In many areas, a layer of soft, fluffy snow covers the fields helping the soil hydrate and offering protection from the strong winds that plague the plains.
Unless you absolutely adore pumpkins and winter squash, it’s slim pickings out at the farms! My local farm sources greens, green house tomatoes, cucumbers, free range eggs and meat from farms nearby, so they strive to offer a nice selection. But still, it’s hard to live on winter squash and potatoes alone.
Eventually, we do have to resort to the local shops to jazz up our supper time and succumb to California and South America grown produce; not very local but I can’t eat winter squash everyday. Though, I’ve been making my Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Salad almost every week these days. It is a nice change to eat leafy greens and enjoy the fresh burst of flavour from the pomegranate arils.
The temperate climes are still feeding us well and keeping our produce fridges well stocked. We have plenty of greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages and Brussels sprouts, thankfully, all my favourite cruciferous vegetables are abundant.
It took me a long time to love Brussels sprouts after the abuse we both underwent at the hands of the convent catering. Those poor Brussels sprouts were boiled to death and their stench at lunch time was overbearing and incessant. They were over cooked and under seasoned, ugh, they were awful.
Every time, I went to buy them, my hand would just stop in mid reach, memories of nausea and that unforgettable sulphuric smell would come flooding back. I would withdraw my hand and move on. It is only after I started this blog that I decided to really overcome my fear. I love cabbage, why couldn’t I love Brussels sprouts? In essence, they are the same thing; little cabbages.
So, fast forward a few years and here we are; loving Brussels sprouts. My favourite way to cook them is roasted or just sautéed. They are so sweet and delicious you don’t need to do much more.
One of my favourite ways to make cabbage is a quick Indian stir fry with mustard seeds, curry leaves and green or red chillies. The cabbage stays crisp tender and a vibrant green with the nutty taste of the mustard seeds and a nice herby pop from the curry leaves. To change up my usual Brussels sprouts routine, I fried them up this way, and they were excellent.
Once again, they are mildly spiced and the heat can be adjusted by adding more or less green chillies. I added fresh coconut to these Curried Brussels Sprouts, and it is optional but it does add a pleasant texture and a mild tropical flavour. I also used coconut oil to sauté the vegetables (mine was refined for the high heat so the flavour was mild, unrefined will be stronger with a pronounced coconut taste).
Indian curries come in a dry preparation, like this one and more fluid ones like the lentil curries and the meat kormas. If you are making a meat korma with lots of gravy, then this is a nice vegetable side dish.
Serving size: 6
- 1 lb/455g Brussels sprouts, sliced/shredded thinly
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, I used refined
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 6-8 curry leaves
- 1 or 2 green chillies, whole or split in half
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red cayenne powder, optional
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
- ½ cup fresh, grated coconut, optional
- handful cilantro, optional
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet/fry pan, heat the oil on medium high.
- Carefully add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop.
- Add the green chillies if using and the curry leaves and then add the shredded Brussels.
- Toss the Brussels around in the oil, mustard seeds and the curry leaves.
- Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne powder, cumin and coriander.
- Stir fry till fragrant and the Brussels sprouts are beginning to get tender.
- Add the fresh coconut, if using.
- You don't want to over cook; the colour should still be a vibrant green and the texture crisp tender.
- Continue cooking until the texture is what you like, about 15 minutes or so for crisp tender.
- Check the salt and season accordingly.
- Stir through the cilantro before serving, if using.
Do you have a love or hate relationship with Brussels sprouts? And could you survive on winter squash and potatoes?
Hope you’re having a great weekend; mine’s hectic as usual! Where does the time go?