Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

I know Brussels sprouts are a cool-weather vegetable, and you’re only supposed to buy seasonally, blah, blah, blah. But I just couldn’t resist these little vibrant green buds at the grocery store last week.

As with most vegetables, I find roasting is the best treatment because a) it’s crazy simple, just place on a sheet tray with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, b) roasting concentrates the flavor of the vegetables and makes them taste like their best selves. So Brussels sprouts taste more Brussels sprout-y and eggplant tastes more eggplant-y…you get it.

Good if you like a certain vegetable and still good if you (think you) don’t like a certain vegetable because roasting will bring out the vegetable’s best flavor. And then you might change your mind. That’s how I came to love underrated veggies like Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

Anyway, I pretty much already posted the recipe for this (see comment A), but I like consistency so I’ll type it up in my usual format below.

One note: when purchasing Brussels sprouts, look for smaller buds that are vibrant green and tightly closed. Avoid those with soft heads and yellowing or loose leaves.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts..

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • ½ lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line a sheet tray with foil or parchment paper and brush with a little olive oil.

Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts. Trim any extra part of the stems and remove loose leaves. Larger buds can be cut in half or even quartered.

Place on sheet tray in a single layer and avoid overcrowding. Brush with olive oil and then liberally sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix and ensure the olive oil and seasoning covers all the buds.

Roast in the oven until the cut sides are golden brown, the outside leaves are crisp, and the insides are tender. For my oven, this took about 40 minutes.

Avocado Toast with Seared Shrimp

Avocado Toast w ShrimpThis week’s schedule was a little crazy with work events and, to be honest, life in general. I didn’t have a chance to make the spring flatbread I had planned, so I made a simple lunch using the bread and some avocados and shrimp that I had on hand.

The best part about this is that you can top avocado toast with almost any ingredient. There are so many variations, it’s hard not to love this recipe.

Avocado Toast with Seared Shrimp

Ingredients

  • ½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Flat or pita bread (any dense bread that can hold the toppings will work well)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Dizzy Pig Jamaican Firewalk seasoning (optional)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Prepare

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat olive oil in a shallow wide pan. While it’s heating, season the shrimp with salt, pepper, and, if you’re using, the Jamaican Firewalk seasoning. Once the oil is heated, place the shrimp in the pan in one layer, avoiding overcrowding.

Depending on the size of your shrimp, cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip the shrimp and cook for about another minute until the shrimp is pink and opaque and cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside. I used small shrimp (41/50) and they cooked in about 3 to 4 minutes total.

Cut the flat bread into points, brush with olive oil and sprinkle whole cumin seeds over the pieces. Toast in the oven for about 5 to 7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.

Cut the avocado once all of the other ingredients are prepped to minimize browning. I cut my avocados in thin slices and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. I also added a spritz of fresh lemon to help cut down on the browning and add a fresh pop of citrus.

Another variation of avocado toast involves mashing the avocado lightly and mixing with salt, pepper, and lemon juice and then using as a spread. Both ways are equally delicious.

Now you’re ready to assemble. Layer each toast point with slices of avocado and top with shrimp. Finish with another spritz of lemon and serve immediately.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables, especially when it’s roasted. It’s simple to make and I love the deep, nutty flavor. My favorite part of roasted eggplant is when some of the edges have caramelized and the middles of the eggplant pieces are creamy. When this happens, I have to stop myself from eating it with my hands as it comes out of the oven.

I usually roast one each week and use it as a side for almost any dinner during the week. But last Sunday, eggplant roasting took a backseat to Super Bowl (commercials) viewing. And a few days later my eggplant was a little close to being overripe, which is how this delicious dip came about.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Ingredients

  • One medium eggplant
  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • za’atar, a pinch for garnish, optional
  • Pita bread or crackers to serve with dip

Prepare

Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut into uniform, ½-inch pieces. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt, pepper, and cumin seeds. Toss or use your hands to mix and ensure all pieces are evenly seasoned.

Place on a baking sheet and roast for about 35-40 minutes or until the eggplant is lightly brown and soft. Allow the eggplant to cool slightly so you can safely work with it, about 15 minutes.

Place cooled eggplant in a large food processor. Add the chopped garlic, lemon juice, Greek yogurt, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse 3 or 4 times to blend, being careful to avoid over mixing.

 Place dip in a serving bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with a pinch of za’atar and chopped cilantro. Serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.