Pumpkin Seed Brussels Sprouts

I know what you’re thinking. Gross! brussels sprouts, really?   At one time or another most of us can remember the horrible greenish-yellow hue of the lunch room, a cattle call line reaching all the way across the school gym, the wafting smell of beefy, humid, hot lunch, and the inevitable scary lunch lady slopping food onto our trays, right?? Welllllll maybe this was just my middle school experience. Nevertheless 6th grade ‘hot lunch’ was where I first encountered brussels sprouts; boiled to a tasteless mush and smelling like an old person’s sheets. Yuck, are you kidding me?  I thought to myself, I guess this is what $2 for a “balanced” lunch in 1994 gets ya.  

Fast forward 17 years, (wow that just made me feel old) and think about how far food has come.   A-longgggg-frickin-way, so much so I am not even sure it’s legal to boil brussels sprouts, except for maybe in prison. Okay, that’s not true, but I hope Whitey Bulger is slurpin’ up some SOS and nasty, boiled, B sprouts. Well good thing you’re reading this and not in the clink, cause I have just the recipe for you!  It’s a life changer, and if you have had a fierce aversion to brussels sprouts before, PLEASE take my word for it and give this vegetable a shot.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved or quartered and remove the loose leaves.
  • 5 large shallots, sliced 1/4″ thick (sliced too thin and they just burn into strings)
  • 1 large pumpkin, seeds removed, separated from pulp and washed.   Set pumpkin aside for later use.
  • as needed, olive oil 
  • as needed, kosher Salt
  • as needed, cracked pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F
  2. Carve the pumpkin top off and scoop out the seeds into a colander.  Wash the seeds and strain the pulp from them.  Soak seeds in a bowl of room temp water while you work and dig out the rest of the seeds.  Gentle pat the seeds try place them onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Once the seeds are dried and laid out, drizzle with olive oil to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper generously.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.  You may have to shuffle the seeds around periodically during cooking.
  5. ** keep a close eye, these puppies can go from slightly browned to burnt within a few minutes!**
  6. Once the seeds are browned and finished, let them cool for 10 minutes and then set aside in a bowl.
  7. *turn up the oven to 350*F
  8. Wash, trim and half the brussels sprouts
  9. In a large bowl toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sliced shallots, 1 tsp of crushed black pepper, and 1 tsp of kosher salt.
  10. Spread out over a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes in the oven until browned.  Half way through roasting toss them around on the sheet.
  11. When they are finished roasting, serve immediately on a platter and sprinkle the top with the oven roasted pumpkin seeds.

This is a crunchy, healthy, way to enjoy the true flavors of fall with a new take on brussels sprouts. It is easy to make and very delicious.  You will never look at this hated vegetable the same way again! Give it a shot when you are carving your pumpkins this week and let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading! xo-G

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