Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sauteed Brussels Sprout Leaves

Our garden is thriving, y'all! We've been eating super fresh pesticide-free kale, sugar snap peas, jalapenos, and cucumbers. If you've been following along, you'll know that we also planted brussels sprouts this year. So far, no sprouts, but we have plenty of leaves. The leaves are edible and quite nutritious so I decided to treat them a bit like kale and cook it with fatty pork and garlic and crushed pepper flakes. It ended up being pretty darn delicious so I'm sharing it with you guys.

If you need some specifics on the nutrition, both the sprouts and the leaves are full of Vitamins A, C, and K. They've got plenty of fiber and protein and folate, which is an active component of cell growth (so it's v. important for everyone but especially for expectant mothers or planning-to-become-expectant mothers). If you don't have your own brussels sprout plant and you're wondering where you might find these awesome greens, head over to your local farmer's market.
Ingredients:
½ oz. salt pork, chopped (or 1 slice of bacon)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
½ teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
20 brussels sprouts leaves (alternatively, you could make this with kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, or any other dark, woody green)


Stack the brussels sprout leaves, roll them up, and cut them into ribbons. I know not everyone has access to brussels sprout leaves. You can certainly use tuscan kale, mustard greens, collards, or swiss chard instead - really any dark, hardy green is perfect here.
Start the salt pork (or bacon) in a cold pan. Turn the flame on low and render out the fat. Then, add the garlic and crushed pepper flakes to the pan and let them sizzle until the garlic turns golden brown. Dump the leaves into the pan, toss to coat in the pork fat, and cook until they're wilted and tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy. The greens are tender while the veins are slightly crisp and they're really delicious. I think they make a quick substitute for collard greens since they don't take too long to cook up.
Heap these into a bowl and serve them up nice and hot. These make a great side vegetable side dish for chicken, steak, pork, really anything.
We had ours alongside some delicious barbecue chicken made on a screaming hot grill.
The brussels sprout greens are tender but the stalks give it a bit of a crunch. The salt pork adds a delicious fatty, salty flavor, the garlic is fragrant, and the crushed pepper flakes add a nice kick. This is friggin' good. Our brussels sprouts plant hasn't even produced any sprouts but it's already given us so much yum.
Here's the recipe page:

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