Brussels Sprout Bottega

You wouldn’t (I wouldn’t) expect to find brussels sprouts at a fun Los Angeles eatery. Nor would you think that Los Angeles is on the way home to Washington State from Alaska, but I like to think it is. Once at the airport – might as well keep going!

So coming home from Alaska in early January, we spent the weekend in California – no sun, but warmer for sure. Dinner, with our younger son and his sweet friend, at Bottega Louie in downtown LA was a highlight. It’s an Italian bakery, bar, and restaurant all in one cavernous, high-ceilinged popular space. And noisy, so noisy you can’t hear yourself think – let alone talk, but we all smiled at the food – beginning with the beautiful braided bread placed right on the paper tablecloth.

Along with a wide variety of regular entrees and pizza, Louie offers “small plates.” One of mine was brussels sprouts with pistachios – delicious halved sprouts, not par-boiled but tender throughout.

When I read Heidi Swanson’s recipe for “Oregano Brussels Sprouts,” I realized her method was Louie’s method. So the other night I harvested the buds from a brussels sprouts tree, took off the excess leaves, and cut the sprouts in half (cutting through the stem).

I followed her directions to heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large warm (but not overheated) skillet, then arranged a single layer of the sprouts in the pan (flat side down), and sprinkled with salt.

I covered and cooked for exactly five minutes (Swanson said roughly five and that worked) – they’ll be tender with bottoms just beginning brown. Cook more with a little higher heat, till the flat bottoms are “deep brown and caramelized.” Having no pistachios, I toasted some sliced almonds and sprinkled them over top.

I like brussels sprouts anyway, but these are really crisp and flavorful. (Following Swanson’s whole recipe and using the “oregano drizzle” would be terrific.)

But it’s good to have a quick way to prepare these nutritional powerhouses – and as Swanson says: “best straight from the stove top.”

4 thoughts on “Brussels Sprout Bottega

  1. I must try this. I love Brussels sprouts and my husband (having endured boiled ones in his impressionable childhood) is coming around to appreciate more inventive ways of preparing them.

  2. Did “Jimmie Gilmore” eat brussel sprouts??? I have a friend who separates the leaves and sautees them in butter, lemon and garlic, very delicious. I made all of my Texas grandchildren taste them at Christmas……horrible faces, but contrived.

  3. I definitly want to give this a try! Thank you so much for all the recipes you include – they really inspire me to try something different!

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