Intro

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It’s really a shame that Brussels sprouts have had such a bad reputation. I regretfully admit that I myself have spent the majority of my life pulling up my nose in disgust at the mear mention of them.

I blame the steam bath my Brussels of the past received before ending up on my plate a soggy, flavorless, pile of bleh. Their little cabbage-like bodies rolled around the plate invading the territory of its more edible neighbors and I thought for sure they infected their sodden, yucky-ness onto whatever they had touched.

It wasn’t until Molly introduced me to cream braised Brussles sprouts that I could admit to myself that I did indeed liked Brussels sprouts. In fact because of that recipe I fell in love with them. Now I am kicking myself for those wasted years, making up for lost time and converting others to the Brussels sprouts-loving team.

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Which is where this recipe comes in. As much as I adore these little, leafy green orbs bathed in cream I wanted a lighter recipe that would win over the fans. A recipe that would highlight the lightly bitter and sweet flavors that emerge after time spent in a hot oven. One that would show off the magic that happens when their outer leaves are given the opportunity to produce a slight char while their insides retain a pleasant creaminess.

A humble-looking platter of these very Brussels sprouts landed on the table of our Thanksgiving this year. Sitting around the table staring apprehensively  in the direction of this dish were the perfect candidates for Team Brussles recruitment – unsure of this leafy green yet eager to try as they had heard me, on numerous occasions, sing its praises.

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The ending is a happy one. We now have a few more members to add to the team. If that’s not motivation enough to start pre-heating the oven then I leave you with the words of my 5 year old after his fourth helping of this very dish, “I love Brussels sprouts. They’re my favorite.” No truer words my boy, no truer words.

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Brussels Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino
1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon chili flakes (more or less depending on desired heat)
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 can cannellini beans
1 cup Pecorino, finely grated
Pre-heat oven to 400*F. Add the Brussels sprouts to a sheet tray and add the olive and salt. Stir them a round a bit to evenly coat.
Roast for 20-30 minutes until crispy and parts are deep golden in color. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large saute pan add the butter and saute the garlic over medium heat until lightly golden around the edges, 2-3 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stock. Stir in the beans and roasted Brussels sprouts and simmer until the stock has reduced to a glaze, about 5-7 minutes. Avoid stirring too much so as not to smash the beans and disrupt the sprouts.
Remove to a serving dish and liberally sprinkle with grated Pecorino.

 

 

Brussels Sprouts with White Beans and Pecorino

adapted from November 2005 issue of Bon Appetit

This makes enough to serve four as a side. Or if you are like me, add a crusty loaf of bread to the mix and perhaps a glass of red wine and you have dinner. Feel free to add more salt if you feel it needs it, my Pecorino was delightfully salty and did the job splendidly. Also, it should be said that I go crazy with the cheese here, you may want less.

This dish comes together quickly, creates very little stress and packs a punch of flavor without being overly heavy. For these reasons and many more I think it is the perfect side dish for any holiday table.

1 lb Brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

¼ teaspoon chili flakes (more or less depending on desired heat)

½ cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 can cannellini beans

1 cup Pecorino, finely grated (or less if you feel so inclined)

Pre-heat oven to 400*F. Add the Brussels sprouts to a sheet tray and add the olive and salt. Stir them a round a bit to evenly coat.

Roast for 20-30 minutes until crispy and parts are deep golden in color. Remove from the oven and set aside.

In a large saute pan add the butter and saute the garlic over medium heat until lightly golden around the edges, 2-3 minutes. Add the chili flakes and stock. Stir in the beans and roasted Brussels sprouts and simmer until the stock has reduced to a glaze, about 5-7 minutes. Avoid stirring too much so as not to smash the beans and disrupt the sprouts.

Remove to a serving dish and liberally sprinkle with grated Pecorino.

44 Responses to “Brussels sprouts with white beans and pecorino”

  1. la domestique

    So glad you converted! I love this idea and think it very Italian to combine a charred bitter-sweet vegetable with creamy white beans and tangy pecorino. It’s a perfect weeknight supper, especially with that piece of crusty bread you mentioned.

    Reply
  2. Jana

    This is one of my favorite ways to make brussels sprouts! I’m the only one that eats them in my house, but it’s fast an easy. I can caramelize the brussels sprouts and some baby carrots at the same time. Everyone is happy. P.S. loved seeing your cookies all over Bon Appetit.

    Reply
  3. kickpleat

    I love brussels sprouts and omg when I tried Molly’s version with cream I think I converted a few others too! I love the sound of this as a weeknight meal. You can’t go wrong with cheese!

    Reply
  4. Cookie and Kate

    Perfect! I just tried cooking Brussels sprouts for the first time this weekend. I steamed them first, then baked them whole, but I think I’d prefer them your way. Love that you combined them with white beans and some cheese to make them a meal!

    Reply
  5. Joy

    ive grown to like them so much over thanksgiving at my roommate’s so thanks for an awesome recipe for them!

    Reply
  6. Brenda

    Thought I was allergic to them in University (the corners of my mouth would itch)…now I love them too. No more itching.

    Reply
  7. Kathryn

    I’ve seen a fair few brussels sprouts recipes online over the past few weeks but this has to be one of the absolute tastiest – it looks just wonderful!

    Reply
  8. Lauren

    So funny to read this because I’ve just come to the brussels table myself, so to speak! My son, however, has not. We had them at Thanksgiving, just roasted with olive oil and salt, but I love the beans and pecorino. Trying this soon (and making green beans for my son!)!

    Reply
  9. Kate

    I can’t WAIT to make these!!! I’ve been obsessed with Molly’s sprouts recipe for the last few years but these look like a worthy (and slightly healthier?) successor! :) Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Michele

    I roast brussels sprouts all the time, but I’ve never added cheese. The beans might make an interesting addition. You should also try growing brussels sprouts- they are very easy to grow and they look so beautiful popping out of the snow in winter :) We start them in the middle of summer and harvest around Thanksgiving or early December.

    Reply
  11. Sara

    This dish looks mouth-watering. I have never eaten or attempted to prepare brussels sprouts because of their reputation. I have been wanting to try some, but just never knew what recipe to try – this will be it! Your blog is beautiful and quickly became a favorite of mine!

    Reply
  12. molly

    ooooh, and i just cooked a big pot of tiny cannellini’s today! i think their destiny is clear.

    aren’t those cream-braised brussels the bomb? we just polished off our annual thanksgiving round. but yes, something a little less, well, bomb-ish would be nice. love this idea, especially with the pecorino, which has such a lovely funk, and is so often overlooked.

    happy december to you, ashley. now, off to find your homemade twix bars….

    Reply
  13. Victor

    Field-tested this recipe at the Rodriguez familia Thanksgiving dinner. I’m a believer! Delicious! Thank you for introducing us to this new dish.

    Reply
  14. Stephanie S

    My mother loved Brussels sprouts…I loathed them for the same reason you mentioned. I didn’t enjoy those tiny, stinky, steamed cabbage heads. I would choke them down when my college roommate would prepare them for dinner (she *never* cooked, so it was an occasion for her to do so and I didn’t want to ruin it). Then one day someone pan fried them in cast iron with some caramelized onions and a revelation occurred. It took years, but like you, I now try to convert others :) And this looks like a perfect way to do it.

    Reply
  15. *Just Fran*

    Love brussels sprouts. Love beans. Love cheese. What could be better. This will be a hearty sidedish for dinner with my Hubs with leftovers being a great lunch for me. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  16. steph

    This turned out great! I brought it to a party, and it got polished off. My 2 year cousin exclaimed, “yummy!” with his first bite. It’s good at room temp too.

    Reply

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