It makes me sad to think of all the years I spent as a child hating even the thought of Brussels sprouts. It felt like a four-letter word in the kitchen, right up there with lima beans and broccoli. Today they are one of my absolute favorite vegetables to make at home or dine out on. I even have the restaurants in Santa Barbara prioritized (by best roasted Brussels offerings of course) in list order in my head (my current favorites are from The Lark and Sama Sama Kitchen).
I adore them raw too! I still remember the most delectable shaved Brussels sprouts salad with whole Meyer lemon dressing, Marcona almonds, AND a sieved egg that I had years ago at Bottega in Napa Valley.
Brussels sprouts are hearty and incredibly versatile little things. The fiber content of Brussels sprouts — 4 grams in every cup — makes this cruciferous vegetable a natural choice for digestive system support. You're going to get half of your Daily Value for fiber from only 200 calories' worth of these sprouts. Researchers have also determined that the sulforaphane made from Brussels sprouts' glucoraphanin helps protect the health of our stomach lining by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori (😝) in our stomach or too much clinging by this bacterium to our stomach wall. SOURCE
This dressing is packed with nutrient-dense real foods. Dates include quite a bit of dietary fiber to help balance out their natural sugars, as well as heaps of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B-6. Rice vinegar has many unique health qualities, including its ability to help your body absorb other nutrients better, especially calcium. Garlic is packed with sulfur-containing constituents that prevent oxidative stress and protect your cardiovascular system. Garlic also possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-clotting and anti-bacterial properties. Let's hear it for garlic!
The dressing below will last up to a week in the fridge, so making a little extra won't hurt. I toss my leftovers onto rice, eggs, other veggies, chicken...really anything but coffee. :)
Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Dates & Fish Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings as a side | dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, all-natural, no refined sweeteners
1 pound Brussels sprouts
Avocado oil (recommended because it holds up well under high heat)
⅓ cup fish sauce (I love this brand)
¼ cup water
3 T rice vinegar
2 T lime juice
2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
a dash of red chile pepper flakes (optional)
a dash of dried ginger (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
2. Trim the base of each sprout, allowing any spoiled leaves to fall off and be discarded. Then cut them in half.
3. Heat 1 T of avocado oil over medium heat in a seasoned cast iron skillet, then add in the sprouts, cut-side down. When the cut-side of the sprouts begin to brown, about 5-8 minutes, place the skillet in the oven to finish roasting for 15 minutes or so. If you prefer a more charred and caramelized sprout, turn on the broiler for just one or two minutes at the end.
4. While the sprouts roast, combine the fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, dates, garlic, and chile pepper flakes in a blender and pulse until garlic and dates are blended and well-incorporated. Taste and adjust any ingredients to your personal preference.
5. Once the Brussels sprouts are done, remove them from the oven and toss with half the sauce to start. Taste and adjust. Serve immediately to prevent sprouts from becoming mushy.