Baked Brussel Sprouts

While all too often associated with stress, crowds and obligation, I thought this holiday season it might be nice to get back to the holiday basics; you know, before there were things like Cyber Monday and malls that opened at midnight.  No matter what your previous holiday experience, what if we all made a concerted effort this year to slow down and appreciate the time we’re able to spend with family and friends over delicious food?  In order to get us in the holiday spirit, over the next nine weeks, some of the top foodies are going to be sharing with us their favorite holiday recipes and the traditions they partake in with their nearest and dearest.  Their edible creations are so enticing they just might have you sharing something new around your own holiday table this year.  Who knows, perhaps their traditions will encourage you to continue those past down to you or start new ones of your own.  Here’s hoping…

{Baked Chiocciole with Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Blue Cheese}

By: Kathryne, of Cookie and Kate

Where will you be spending the holidays this year? 
For Christmas and Thanksgiving I will be traveling home to Oklahoma to be with my family.   I’ll also be celebrating with my friends before I leave each time, though. I’m definitely looking forward to our potluck “Friendsgiving” in November.

 

Who does the cooking?
My mom usually does the majority of the cooking, which I’ve realized in recent years isn’t exactly fair. I’ve been stepping up to make vegetarian sides. With my friends, it’s very much a collaborative effort. I really think holiday potlucks are the way to go.

 

Do you enjoy cooking for large groups of people?  Do you have any tips to make it less stressful?
To tell you the truth, I don’t have much experience cooking for large groups of people! The thought of it intimidates me; I’m used to cooking for one. I would suggest delegating duties and asking guests to contribute to the meal somehow—there’s no reason for one person to do it all and people are usually happy to provide.

 

Are there any holiday traditions or games among your friends or family members?
My college friends and I had a tradition of getting together on Sunday afternoons for breakfast; we called it The Breakfast Club. The same group always got together for a Thanksgiving meal in November. We usually ended up with as much booze as we had food—needless to say, it was always really fun. I hope to be back in Oklahoma in time for this year’s edition.

 

What’s your go-to meal that you will be making this year?
I’ll be contributing this apple and brussels sprouts pasta dish. The combination of flavors might sound a little crazy, but I promise it tastes amazing. It’s nice to bring a vegetarian dish that can serve equally well as a main or a side. For the carnivores who aren’t fans of blue cheese, well, more for me!
{Recipe}
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2.5 ounces whole wheat chiocciole (about 2 cups of dried chiocciole)
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup Gorgonzola cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 2 medium organic Fuji apples, roughly chopped
  • Black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/2 to 1 small lemon, squeezed over the cooked pasta
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×9-inch baking pan. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook it halfway through (start checking after 3 minutes; it should still be quite firm inside). Add the Brussels sprouts to the pot and cook, until the pasta and vegetables are just barely tender, another 3 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and return the pasta and Brussels sprouts to the pot.
  2. Stir in the gorgonzola cheese, apples, olive oil, and a splash of the cooking water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss, and taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the pasta mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with a little bit more Gorgonzola cheese.
  3. Bake, checking once or twice and adding a bit more of the cooking water if the pasta looks too dry, until the mixture is bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes (mine took 20). Sprinkle lemon juice over the dish and garnish it with chopped, toasted pecans.

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  2. I’m not a fan of Brussel sprouts, but this looks delish!! I may try this with glute-free pasta =)

  3. I am always looking for festive, vegetarian dishes that can double as entrees over the holidays. This looks great. Thanks!

  4. Sarah S.

    11/01/2012

    This looks amazing! I am always looking for new vegetarian ideas that will feed a lot of people. This one is going on my list!

  5. julianne

    11/01/2012

    Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Thank you so much for this fun feature, Jen! I love how you put it together. xo.

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