I am sure I have said this before. I am a fan of food magic. Any opportunity to introduce or reintroduce a food to family members (children and husband especially) that they previously thought they did not like, only to have them discover that they do like it, makes me giddy. This may border insanity, I know. For me, it is a kind of food resolution, that we renew each year, to try everything at least once. That said, when I served up a platter of these to my Mom and she politely plucked one up and asked, “What is it?” I said, “Just try it.” She obliged, made noises associated with amusement and asked again, “what is it? Cabbage?” No sooner did I say, “Brussels sprouts” did she scowl and reply, “but I hate Brussels sprouts. Really, what is it…” She went on eat a half a dozen more, which put a big smile on my face. Inspired by one of my favorite Food and Wine recipes for a grilled corn salad, the combination of cream, acid and spice is a perfect bite to my palate. Brussels sprouts on toast might seem strange, and may seem unwieldy, but the mixture clings together and when we ate them, there were few casualties between the plate and our mouths. I hope you try this, I think you will be surprised. —gingerroot
Test Kitchen Notes
Gingerroot truly is a food magician. Her Resolution Toasts takes an very unlikely combination of flavors—Brussels, chiptole, and currants—and balances them in a bite that is creamy, spicy, and fresh all at the same time. I liked them best with the full amount of chipotle—the Brussels can stand up to more heat that you would imagine. I served the toasts to two VERY picky eaters and before I knew it, the bowl was empty! —meganvt01
Trim ends and outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and slice in half. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt.
In a sauté pan (with a lid) large enough to accommodate sprout halves without crowding, heat olive oil over medium and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, arrange Brussels sprouts cut side down in pan. Allow sprouts to cook, undisturbed, until they are golden brown, about 4 minutes. Stir, and cook for a minute or two more. Add sesame oil and water – start with 2 Tablespoons of water and add more as necessary – reduce heat, cover and allow mixture to braise until tender, about 4-5 minutes more. Transfer tender Brussels sprouts to a bowl to cool.
While your sprouts are cooling, straight slice your baguette about ¼-inch thick. Place slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Preheat oven to 350° F.
Once cool enough to handle, thinly slice each Brussels sprout half - be careful, they are slippery. You will end up with a heap of sliced Brussels sprouts. Place in a bowl and add finely chopped chipotle (I leave it up to you whether you use ½ or a whole one, as well as whether or not to remove the seeds), crème fraiche, sherry vinegar to taste (start with a splash), and currants. Thoroughly combine, taste for salt, and add as needed.
Pop baguette slices into the oven until toasted, about 5 minutes.
Arrange toasts on a serving platter and mound with a spoonful of Brussels sprout mixture. Although it may seem unwieldy, the mixture clings together surprisingly well, with little casualty between the plate and the mouth. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Note: Although it is best to enjoy immediately, Brussels sprout mixture can be made a few hours ahead and held in the refrigerator. Allow mixture to come up to room temperature before serving.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.