Monday, 8 December 2014

A Tale of Two Cities

Cavolini di Bruxelles & Topinambour Arrostiti al Tahini, Miele & Sumac
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Jerusalem Artichokes with Tahini, Honey & Sumac


A little experiment, a little improvisation and a new favorite side-dish for the Winter months and especially the festive season... Sometimes you just have to try things out and be open for something new!

My little adventure this evening involved Jerusalem artichokes, or "sunchokes", or topinambour... depending on where you live! The name may change- but the wonderful flavor does not! Well- not unless I get my hands on it!


I decided to pair them with Brussels sprouts- an absolute favorite of mine- and to spice them up differently and turn them into something different and new!

These are not the usual spices you would use- but the resulting flavor is not exotic- simply delicious... and that makes these perfect to serve with any traditional Winter meal to add a hint of something new without rocking the boat too much- haha!


There is no need for any big descriptions here- I had roughly equal amounts of both sprouts and 'chokes, I had the sumac, honey and tahini- and I have some common sense- and that is all that you are going to need too!


It's just a matter of good combination, of flavors that go well together- as always! Sweet honey and tangy sumac, along with the rich tahini and of course a little salt, pepper and olive oil... already just reading that you can get an inkling of how excellent this is going to taste...


The only prep-work that needs to be done is for the 'chokes to be scrubbed clean or peeled (I prefer leaving the skins on for their color- and also 'cause they're a good source of fibre), and the sprouts to be halved, after removing the ugly, outer leaves and trimming the stalks.

Then, into boiling water they go! The chokes first, as they need a little longer to cook, then 5-6 minutes later, the sprouts can simply be added on top. In the meantime, turn on the oven to get it nice and hot and ready to go!


So, after the chokes have cooked for 10 minutes or so and the sprouts for 5, turn off the heat, pour off the water and let them sit in the saucepan with the lid on for a further 5 minutes.

After that time, pour them out onto a baking dish, add a generous drizzle of tahini, a little olive oil, plenty of salt and pepper and sumac and stir them through gently, to get everything well coated.

Pop them into the oven at 200°C and bake for 15 minutes before giving them a turn over- then a further 15 minutes from the other side.


After 30 minutes in a hot oven, they should be crisped-up and golden... and wonderfully aromatic and enticing! The perfect time to add a drizzle of honey and make them even more so! Not too much- just enough to add a hint of sweetness and a light glaze.


 A final 5 minutes under the broiler (keep your eyes on them so that the honey doesn't burn!)- and you're done! And don't they look good?!?


And the good news is... that if you are one of those people who can not resist adding that splash of balsamic vinegar... oh yes, that would be wonderful with this!


It may not change your life- but it might change your supper! And... that's a start at least! Haha- give it a try, open your mind... and enjoy!

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