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.”