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Farmer Lee Jones—Rach's "favorite veg head in a bib and a bow tie"—shares an easy side dish that makes Brussels sprouts SEXY.
Brussels sprouts are highly seasonal, says Lee. "They start to pop up in the fall, but really excel around the first frost. The tiny cabbages become sweeter and the heads become denser. When we hear the words Brussels sprouts, we imagine the other ingredients that overlap with them so beautifully: Root vegetables, such as carrots, radishes, beets and potatoes. Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale. Fall fruits, such as apples, pumpkins, and other varieties of ornamental squash and gourds. Living with the seasons makes cooking delicious food more effortless.
Here, Lee turns Brussels sprouts into a vegetable hash, but they're also great raw—halve and thinly slice them crosswise for salads or slaws. Or, pull the leaves apart and add them to salads or roast them to make crispy chips.
Pro Tips from Lee: Here's how to select and prep Brussels sprouts. Look for sprouts with tight heads and not much browning at the base. It’s even better to just buy them right on the stalks! Avoid yellowing sprouts. They should have a fresh smell that isn’t overly cabbage-y. Refrigerate loose sprouts unwashed, wrapped in a bag or sealable container for up to three days. After much longer, they lose their sweetness and some of their nutritional value. If they’re on the stalk, wrap them in a couple of plastic bags for up to a week. Remove any yellow outer leaves and trim the base if it’s tough or browned. Rinse Brussels sprouts in cold water and shake or pat dry. When you’re preparing sprouts for the same dish, be sure they’re about the same size so they cook evenly.
For more Brussels sprouts recipes, check out Rach’s Orecchiette with Bacon, Onion, Brussels Sprouts or Cabbage and this Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette. And here's another vegetable recipe from Lee, Easy Old-School Creamed Spinach.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Heat the oil in a large oven-safe cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables and squash and sear, stirring occasionally, until well browned. Transfer to a bowl, reserving the skillet.
Place the skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and Brussels sprouts and sear, stirring occasionally. (Add a little more oil, if necessary.) When the onion softens and the sprouts start to brown on the edges, add the reserved seared vegetables and the sliced apple to the skillet.
Toss or stir the ingredients, then add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the vegetables are cooked through, 5 to 15 minutes. Check the seasonings and serve.