My wonderful cat Hazel loves Brussel sprouts. He likes to chew on green things, and I am happy to provide him with anything that will keep him away from my begonias. Brussel sprouts are not only tasty to Hazel, they are also ball shaped, which means that they can be chased around the kitchen floor like a vegetarian mouse.
Actually, I first realized that Hazel needed a home because of Brussel sprouts. A few years ago this huge, handsome grey tabby appeared on the stoop of a neighboring building. I visited him everyday after school. He was so big and beautiful, that I assumed that he was someone else’s house cat who was being allowed to spend some time outside. But one day, I had come from the grocery store and I had a stalk of brussel sprouts sticking up out of my bag. Hazel climbed onto me! I felt flattered that he had so much affection toward me, until I realized that he was after my Brussel sprouts. “Oh no!” I thought “This poor, poor kitty must be starving if he is after brussel sprouts!”
We know better now. Hazel was not starving, he just likes Brussel sprouts. But his behavior did prompt me to inquire with the residents of the building, who told me that the owner of this beautiful cat had moved and left him behind. The super of the building (who is the nicest person on my block) was feeding him and letting him sleep in the basement. I started sending photos of the cat to friends who I thought might want him.
It was the time of year when the weather suddenly gets cold. Overnight, the grey tabby realized that he was in trouble. One day he was friendly, clean and content to flirt with passers-by and the next he was desperate and unwashed, as if the weather had finally made him realize that his people were not coming back.
I went home and got my cat carrier and brought the cat home, promising my husband that I would find him another home. Yeah. That never happened. I mean, LOOK at him!
It seems that Brussel sprout recipes get trotted out almost exclusively for holiday meals. My cat and I like them for regular meals too. I’m not totally sure that this counts as a recipe. It’s more of a suggestion. Everyone knows that Brussel sprouts are good with bacon. However, if you are me, you are taking your leftover Brussel sprouts with you to work for lunch. The problem is that day (or two) old bacon is a little bit gross. Chorizo, on the other hand, is not only good with Brussel sprouts, but it also it tastes just fine in your packed lunch the next day. If you add some sweet vegetables like carrots, parsnips and red onions, it becomes a perfect meal all in one dish. You can stretch it farther by serving it with quinoa, or whatever grain you like.
ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS WITH CHORIZO
- 4 ounces dry Spanish chorizo, sliced
- 1 lb of Brussel Sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
- 1/2 lb of carrot and/or parsnips, scrubbed and cut into thick diagonals
- 1 red onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced from top to bottom
- several sprigs of thyme
- a little olive oil if needed
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Fry up the sliced chorizo until it begins to crisp a bit. Remove the chorizo from the pan and place it in a big bowl.
- Toss the sliced Brussel sprouts with about 2 tablespoons of the oil released from the chorizo and some salt of and pepper (I do this right on my baking sheet). Arrange the Brussel sprouts in a single layer and roast them for about 20 minutes or until they are starting to turn golden. Add them to the big bowl with the chorizo.
- Toss the carrots and/or parsnip slices with the thyme and about a tablespoon of the oil from the pan and spread them out in a single layer on half of the baking sheet. Toss the sliced onion with another tablespoon of the oil from the pan (or use olive oil if you have run out), and arrange them on the other half of the roasting pan. Roast the vegetables until they are tender and a bit caramelized. Either the onions or the root vegetables may finish first, depending on how thickly you sliced them. When they are done add them to the bowl and toss everything to combine. Eat hot or at room temperature with some quinoa or another grain of your choosing.
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