Brussels Sprouts w/ Lemon, Pistachios & Raisins

Happy Wednesday.  Here’s the situation- I’ve had an especially busy week.  Constant menu planning, daily Whole Foods visits,  and even more cooking.  I can usually clock the hours I spend in the kitchen based on how many days my manicure stays pretty.

Yup, need a manicure.

So, why I’m telling you this is because….

[caption id="attachment_817" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="{mise en place}"]

brussels ingredients


I’m not giving you a “recipe” for this post.  Meaning, no measurements, no times.

Think of it as a road map with visuals.  Or a learning experience.  Or a challenge.

And don’t worry because it’s not as if I’m not giving you a recipe for Julia Child's coq au vin.  This dish is easy.  Just a few ingredients.  I'm going to talk you through it.

[caption id="attachment_834" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="{brussels, halved | pistachios, chopped}"]

brussels prepped


[caption id="attachment_813" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="{lemons, juiced}"]

lemons juiced


[caption id="attachment_814" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="{brussels, sauteeing}"]

brussels sauteed


What you need:

  • brussels sprouts (as many as you’d like to make)
  • lemons (as lemony as you’d like your brussels)
  • pistachios, toasted and salted (as many pistachios you feel like shelling/eating/chopping)
  • golden raisins (as sweet as you’d like the dish to be)
  • olive oil- to sauté
  • kosher salt and pepper-to taste

 Keep in mind (on your mark):

Good cooking is largely about balance in flavor and texture.  This dish is a perfect example.  The brussels sprouts are your base.  Kind of earthy, kind of bitter.  When sautéeing, browning brings out their natural sugars.  They’ll still be earthy and bitter, but also a little sweet- something to remember when you add the raisins.

In addition to sweetness, the raisins add a pop of color (golden are just more aesthetically pleasing), as well as a chewy texture to contrast the bite of the brussels sprouts and the crunchiness of the pistachios.  Pistachios also provide their own distinctive flavor as well as saltiness.  Lemon juice gives a pop of acidity/brightness and just rounds out the whole dish.

Mise en place (get set):

Have equipment ready before you start:

-Oven preheated to 400° F., 2 saute pans (one large, one small), tongs, serving dish/utensil

Have ingredients ready before you start:

-Brussels sprouts, stems and outer leaves removed/ cut in half lengthwise
-Lemons, juiced
-Pistachios, chopped
-Raisins, ready -Olive oil, salt & pepper, accessible

Method (go!):

-Preheat oven to 400° F.
-Set the large sauté pan on medium heat. Add olive oil until there’s a thin layer covering the bottom of the pan.
-When oil is hot, add brussels sprouts, cut side down (leave plenty of space between them.  Oxygen= browning).  Lightly season with salt and pepper.
-You’ll hear the brussels sprouts sizzle (the sound of them getting quieter means that the water in them is evaporating and browning is taking place).
-Flip them over once they are golden brown.  Gently season with additional salt and pepper.
-Stick in oven, about 5-10 minutes (yes, I gave you a hint) depending on size.  They should still be bright green but fork tender.

If you can multitask, at this point:

-Put the small sauté pan on medium heat and add the raisins and lemon juice.
-This is where personal preference comes into play.  More lemon= more tartness.  The raisins will absorb the lemon juice as they cook down.  I covered the raisins with juice and reduced just until it could coat the back of a spoon- the sugar in the raisins create a syrup.
-Remove from heat and mix in pistachios. Toss with brussels sprouts.