Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cook: Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi

Every fall from 1981 to 1993 the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk would take a brief hiatus from celebrating whatever fruits go into margaritas and other alcoholic party drinks in order to pay tribute to the way underrated (at the time) Brussels sprout. The annual Brussels Sprout Festival featured a whimsical array of activities and Brussels sprout themed dishes. You could get your hands on some brussels pizza, ice cream or even have the vegetable candied. For those who weren't fans, there was the brussels sprout toss and the brussels sprout driving range. Sadly, for some, the event was cancelled due to lack of interest in 1993 (present day there is a Brussels Sprout Festival that is held in Rogersville, New Brunswick each August).

The reason I share this little tidbit of information is because in my household growing up, at least from when I was five until I turned fifteen, my mother kept a one way ticket to Santa Cruz pinned to a cork board. Anytime I started giving her sh** or did something stupid she would point at that ticket and threaten me with a visit to my Aunt Starla during the Brussels Sprout Festival. I hated the idea of those little veggies so much (I mean, I never actually had one because they didn't come from a can), that just one point towards that ticket was enough for me to straighten up. Unfortunately for my mom the event got cancelled right before I went to high school. I found out about it when my aunt accidentally spilled the beans. My mom has never mentioned it but I know she spent a lot of time during my high school years wishing that she could still use that ticket as punishment.

Nowadays you won't find me hiding from the brussels sprout train. I'm onboard. In fact, some days I'm conducting it. My latest obsession is Brussels sprouts with Kimchi. This European-Asian-West Coast fusion dish comes together like this:

Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi (adapted slightly from a Vegetarian Times recipe)
(printable version)

-1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved (ends trimmed)
-3 Tbs. olive oil
-2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
-1 tsp. sea salt
-1/2 tsp. black pepper
-1/4 cup water
-1 cup kimchi

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.

2. Spread the Brussels sprouts in a square baking dish. Pour the water over top. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water has largely evaporated.

3. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the kimchi. Eat them. Or throw them. Your choice.

Soundtrack this fusion dish.