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Parmesan Brussels Sprout Crisps with Pomegranate

Note:  Brussels sprouts contains an “s” on “Brussels.”  I feel compelled to throw that out there.

There are certain foods that indicate the arrival of certain seasons for me each year.  For spring it’s strawberries; for summer it’s stone fruit; and for fall it’s (there are three of them in fall for some reason) pomegranate, persimmons, and Brussels sprouts.  Brussels sprouts are actually sub-categorized into a fall/winter holiday group.

Growing up some foods are demonized by media directed at children (Rug Rats, anyone?).  It’s expected that kids will not like certain vegetables.  Why is this expected?  I don’t know (my kids WILL EAT their veggies and love them, dammit).  But it is, so shows like cartoons play into this expectation.  If some plot line needs to contain a kid not liking his vegetables it’s a matter of taking a pick -green beans, or worse, the dreaded Brussels sprout.

I don’t specifically remember the first time I ate a Brussels sprout, but it was not a vegetable we often ate growing up, if ever.  Though I do remember thinking to myself at some point while looking at a Brussels sprout, “I’m gonna eat that thing, and I wonder if it’s nearly as bad as I’ve heard my entire life.”  Turns out, it isn’t.  In fact, they are good.  That being said, come February or March each year through a combination of cooking my own Brussels sprouts and seeing them on every trendy LA restaurant menu, I am more than happy to have them disappear for 6 months or so.

So to help stave off this inevitable Brussels sprout fatigue I’ve taken the liberty of coming up with a new (to me anyway) preparation for them.  I think one of the things that leads to the fatigue of any food is preparing it with the same form of delivery each time you cook it.  Why must Brussels sprouts always be halved or quartered, browned then roasted?  They don’t.  Their leaves are really good when separated, and offer a familiar flavor with a new texture and density.  I also took some this week and chopped them very finely, then sauteed them into a vegetable hash, which may or may not make its way onto Rooted.  It was good, too.

Anyway, give these a try, maybe even for your holiday table, and enjoy.

Ingredients

-About 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and separated into individual leaves (note; I’ve made this a few time and what I often end up doing is taking off a few layers of leaves off each sprout, then saving the rest of the sprout for another dish)

-1/2 pomegranate

-Parmesan cheese

-salt and pepper

-olive oil

Total time:  20 minutes

Serves 3-4

Rinse the sprouts well.  Cut off the ends and begin separating the leaves.  Discard any exterior leaves that are excessively damaged or rotting.  Be aware that if you have organic sprouts, you may find a few little critters deep down in there.

Place the leaves in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir to mix.  Transfer to a large oven-safe skillet and sprinkle in the pomegranate seeds and top with Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 550 degrees (or turn on broiler).  Cook sprouts until begging to brown on the edges, removing from heat once during cooking to stir.  You may have to cook in batches.

Enjoy

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