It's fun to go back and read through our old posts. I'll look at the photos and shake my head, chuckling at the narrative that goes along with the recipe. It's like reading an essay you wrote in your freshman year of high school or finding a photo that was taken during your awkward and way-not-cute emo phase. Oh… that was just me? Let's pretend I didn't mention that.
What really gets me is how much can change and how it happens so quickly that you don't even notice it. When did I stop wearing Hot Topic and start wearing Clark's old t-shirts and Gap's 40% off offerings? When did I stop drinking Coors Light and start drinking wine? When did shitty late night pizza end and cooking vegetables begin?
These brussels sprouts are a remake of one of our very first recipes that we made way back when we were seniors at Purdue. Before we were married, before we graduated, before we moved to Brooklyn, before we started taking this blog seriously, and before we moved back to Indiana. A lot has happened in the past two and a half years.
I love this recipe so much that I felt I needed to recreate it and do it justice. Better photos, a better explanation of the process, and hopefully, a better story to go along with it.
When we first bought brussels sprouts at Lafayette's natural food store, The Sunspot, we were feeling adventurous. As we often do when we find an ingredient we've never tried before, we picked them up, looked at each other, and gave the slow nod/smirk. It's our silent conversation that we've had thousands of times: "Wanna try it?" "Dude… most definitely."
I love trying foods that have a stigma attached to them. I have to see what the fuss is all about and make my own judgment call. Tofu: rocks. Kimchi: the stinkiest, best way to keep people I don't like away. Okra: one of the few perks of fall. Sardines: the guilty pleasure that we've eaten on a wooden sidewalk in Dubois, Wyoming and in the back of Donna in Bismarck, ND.
And poor, innocent brussels sprouts? They were ruined for my parents' generation and as a result, they were ruined for mine too. When you've had brussels sprouts the wrong way as a child – boiled, mushy, and flavorless – you never want to eat them or make your kids eat them EVER. But there's hope for this humble and underrated vegetable.
That hope comes in the form of your oven and proper seasonings. Gone are the days of bland and limp brussels sprouts. It's time for a brussels sprouts renaissance – in each bite, savory, tender inner layers are encased by a crisp, golden brown leaves.
Like berries, tomatoes, ramps, pomegranates, and oranges, brussels sprouts are a limited, seasonal delicacy. When fall rolls around, they make the cooler days and threat of winter seem less daunting.
Many a dinner has consisted of a shared bowl overflowing with brussels sprouts and this fall will be no different. For the short time that they're available, I will be eating my fair share and perhaps the fair share of several others while I'm at it. And for the other 10-ish months of the year, I'll be anxiously awaiting their return to the market.Print