Life looks very hopeful when spring is around the corner and little tender baby kale, purple sprouting broccoli, and Brussels sprouts begin to show up. We need as much hope these days as we can get. Agreed?
This recipe is an adaptation of Cavolini di Bruxelles, Brussels Sprouts with Almonds, from one of my favorite cookbooks, The Silver Spoon, one of the most popular Italian cookbooks. For this adaptation, I like to roast the Brussels sprouts as opposed to steaming. Roasting in EVOO gives them a nice nutty flavor and removes all the bitterness that turns many folks away from this super nutritious veg.
Wanna make it vegan?
Additionally, we can make this dish vegan by using Pane Grattugiato in place of cheese. As mentioned in my Ebook, Naturally Vegetarian Italian, I love this simple recipe for so many reasons. Some call it fried bread or poor man’s parmesan because it comes from the Cucina Povera tradition. These toasted bread crumbs serve as a perfect cheese substitute, almost mimicking grated parmigiana. For this reason, you can swap out the Pane Grattugiato for any hard cheese toppings and turn many Italian dishes into vegan options. I always keep a jar in my kitchen next to the salt and pepper, so it’s easy to grab and throw on freshly made pasta, veggies, or salad.
To make Pane Grattugiato: Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 clove minced garlic in a small skillet. Add 1 tsp. chili flakes, 1 Tbsp. chopped parsley, 1 pinch salt, and 1 cup bread crumbs and stir. Toast everything over low heat until slightly crispy. Store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.
Brussels Sprouts with Almonds
- 1 ½ lb Brussels sprouts
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup almonds, blanched
- 1 clove garlic
- zest 1 lemon
- salt to taste
- 3 Tbsp. bread crumbs (or Pane Grattugiato)
- In a small saucepan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil and stir in bread crumbs. Heat and toast the breadcrumbs for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Remove and cool. Set aside. (or use pre-made Pane Grattugiato)
- Blanch the almonds: boil 2 cups water and add the almonds. Boil for 1 minute and immediately remove the almonds and cool. The skins will slide right off. Either discard the skins or use them in a smoothie or other such use. Set blanched almonds aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 °F. Broadcast 2 Tbsp. olive oil over the bottom of a baking dish. Wash and drain Brussels sprouts. Cut them in half and add to oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, mix everything together making sure Brussels sprouts are well coated with olive oil. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until Brussels sprouts are just fork tender.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the blanched almonds and whole garlic clove and sitr fry for 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and a pinch of salt.
- Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven and place them in a serving dish. Spoon on the almond mixture, top with toasted bread crumbs (or Pane grattugiato), and serve.
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