First, for those keeping score: Yes, this is my third blog in three days. And yes, I’m keeping up with my yoga goal as well.
I might have an addiction to Brussels sprouts. I have eaten them at least twice a week for the last month. Whenever I pass them in the produce section I feel compelled to buy more, even though I know I still have some at home. (But what if I run out??) If I go more than a few days without them, I start to miss them.
My love for fennel comes in a close second place. And it turns out that Brussels sprouts and fennel play nicely together. Especially when you throw shallots into the mix. (Although shallots are known to run with scissors.)
What follows are two variations on cooking with this trio. They seem similar enough that making two blog entries out of this feels like cheating, but different enough that they each merit some attention. The take-home message? You can’t go wrong with Brussels sprouts, fennel, and shallots… at least if I’m coming over for dinner.
Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Brussels Sprouts, Fennel, and Pine Nuts
(adapted from Epicurious)
Trim Brussels sprouts and slice vertically in about 1/4 inch slices. Peel and thinly slice one large or two small shallots. After removing stalks (is that what the top part is called??), halve one fennel bulb vertically and then slice into half-inch sections, cross-wise.
Cook whole wheat fettuccine according to package instructions. Heat a little butter or olive oil over medium heat. Add some pine nuts and stir for 1-2 minutes until golden. Add shallots, Brussels sprouts, and fennel, and saute until cooked to taste. (About 5 minutes seems to get them tender but not mushy.) Halfway through sauteing, stir in a splash of white balsamic vinegar or dry white wine. Season with salt.
Toss fettuccine in with vegetables. Drizzle a little more olive oil if desired, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
*If you’re wanting something a little fancier (or meatier), start by sauteing finely chopped pancetta, and then stir in the pine nuts and proceed. In my experience, pancetta doesn’t seem to yield a ton of grease, so you might still need to add some olive oil or butter for sauteing the nuts and veggies.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Fennel, and Asparagus with Israeli Couscous
I love Israeli couscous. This dinner evolved from a dish I made for my friend Katie* last week- simply mixed roasted asparagus, sauteed zucchini, and couscous with a little olive oil, fresh parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. It was awesome and I am kicking myself for not documenting it. Next time. Until then… here’s a variation.
Preheat oven to 425. Slice Brussels sprouts. Cut one shallot into eight wedges. Vertically cut one fennel bulb so you also have eight wedges (if they are thicker than 1/2 inch, halve again), removing the core. Trim about 6 or 7 asparagus stalks and cut into 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces.
Place all cut vegetables in a baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Cook Israeli couscous according to instructions. Roast vegetables for about 5 minutes. Stir, and continue roasting until tender, but still have some crispness. Squeeze lemon juice over vegetables, and mix into couscous.
*In my best Chris Traeger voice– Katie is *literally* one of my favorite people ever. Partly because she will eat almost anything. Including my failed attempt at a skillet tamale a couple months ago. But she also has other redeeming qualities beyond being easy to feed.