Brussels sprouts make me happy. I taught myself to like them, probably over the course of a year and various preparation attempts, and they gradually turned into something I crave. So sad that The H doesn't feel the same, but oh well. More for me. The ones I used for this recipe were from the farmers' market last week, so they were fresh and local. Perfect! I will actually eat this twice today. I made it for lunch, figuring I'd have more time to play with a new recipe in the afternoon (gotta love working from home) and I'll have the leftovers for dinner, after baby is in bed.
The recipe comes from Cara's Cravings, a blog I get a lot of ideas from.
Makes 2 servings
3/4 lb butternut squash, diced
4 tsp olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 links smoked apple and Chardonnay chicken sausage (Trader Joe's brand is great), sliced
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts
Dash of nutmeg and smoked paprika, to taste
1/2 oz toasted pinenuts
1. Wash, peel, and cube the squash, and microwave in a covered glass dish for 5 minutes on high. (Mine took 4 minutes on 70% power, but I have a NASA-quality nuker, I think.)
2. Meanwhile, wash, trim, and slice the Brussels sprouts into ribbons.
3. Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the squash cubes with a dash of salt. Cook a few minutes until nicely browned. Add the chicken sausage and cook another 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds (this part smells sooo good!). Remove from pan and keep warm.
4. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet, turn the heat to medium-high, and add the shredded Brussels sprouts. Season to taste with more salt, nutmeg, and paprika. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned (I added a bit of water to keep the pan from charring; I may have had the heat a bit high). Add squash mixture and toasted nuts, heat through, and serve.
Cara's blog shows the nutritional info for this recipe, so if that interests you click the recipe name above and take a peek.
OK, so remember how I don't like squash? This recipe did its best to change that. It was delicious! I did make a few substitutions based on what I had: a small golden acorn squash instead of butternut, sweet apple sausage instead of smoked apple Chardonnay, and walnuts instead of pinenuts.
The creaminess of the squash surprised me; it really tied the other flavors into a cohesive, comforting fall dish. Nutmeg (not usually a flavor I care for) was a perfect complement to the sweet sausage and other ingredients. I truly cleaned my plate. Next time I might increase the garlic a bit, or add a chopped green onion. It smelled fantastic when it hit the hot pan, but I didn't taste much of that aromatic bite in the finished dish. I'm interested to know if the flavor develops more as it sits in the fridge. Stay tuned for an update (I know, you're on the edge of your seat). I ended my meal with a few squares of extra-dark chocolate.
UPDATE: It was not as drool-worthy as leftovers. The nutmeg was still comforting and the smoky paprika came through better, but the squash was overly squashy and the sprouts were a tad on the wilty side. Plus, I ran out of chicken sausage about halfway through, so that was a bummer. Definitely try to eat this one fresh.