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Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves


TheNoodleIncident
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Like many others I'm sure, I like to roast brussels sprouts on high heat with just some olive oil, salt and pepper. I cook them until they begin to brown, and they are delicious and easy. I've found that my favorite part of this dish is the individuals leaves that fall off the sprouts, since they get dark and crispy - sweet, nutty, so good. So now I want to make an entire dish of just the leaves - anyone ever done this? Not sure if I would make a pile of them as a side dish, or just use a few as garnish. I might have to make smaller batches so I can get a single layer when cooking. I'll bet someone will suggest frying them, but I tend to not like that technique.

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Not sure how you would get a significant number of leaves off the sprouts to layer in the pan to begin with.

Not the answer you're looking for, but you could halve or quarter the sprouts to expose more of the surface of the sprouts to the roasting.

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If you don't want to fry, why not just roast the leaves. Layer them in a sheet pan as big as you have, and roast them. I've done this with kale, and it works well. You're left with evenly crunchy pieces of kale. I think you could easily do this with brussels sprouts leaves too, just make sure there's only one layer as much as you can otherwise the leaves might steam first which could cause problems since they're not as hardy as something like kale. I'm sure it can be done though.

I had brussels sprouts leaves as a garnish on potato puree with parsnip coins and a chunk of hangar steak on top in a restaurant once. It was good.

nunc est bibendum...

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I have done this before, however it is an extraordinary amount of work to de-leaf each and every brussel sprout. Not high on my favorites list.

+1 re Alcuin's suggestion.

And now that I think about it, this would go rather well with young artichokes (the small kind, before they mature and become giant globe artichokes)

Edited by SobaAddict70 (log)
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Yes, I have done this. Because there are only two of us, a container of sprout usually last us 2 meals anyway. So, I take the larger outer leaves and roast them the way I make kale chips (toss with olive oil, salt and sometimes paprika). The inner of the sprout, I save them to roast or pan fried for the next meal.

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I know you're not a fan of frying, but a while ago, I took a cooking class with David Bouley - and one of the components of one of the dishes was brussel sprout leaves... you can get the leaves pretty quickly by using a paring knife and coring the sprout like coring a head of cabbage - most of the leaves just fall off. He then proceeded to get a saute pan very hot and using a touch of grapeseed oil (just enough to barely coat the pan), throw in all the leaves at once. They will sputter bit. Season and saute until they reach the amount doneness you prefer.

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I don't know if I'd call them crispy... they get crispy in spots, but not uniformly like if they were deep fried. But they get great maillard coloring, turn almost sweet, and have a great texture where they are tender but still have a little bite to them.

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I tried roasting peeled leaves last week and it didn't work out well- you really can't roast them without stirring them, and, because of the shape of the leaves, they have a tendency to bunch together.

Another consideration with roasting is that, when you roast brussels sprouts whole, only the outer layer absorbs the fat, but when you roast the leaves, they all absorb fat, so you can end up with something pretty oily.

One of the advantages to frying is that, if you fry them at the right temp and the right time, you can control the fat absorption and end up with something crisp and nutty, but not too oily.

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I remember seeing on TV (a while back) a salad of fried fried brussels sprout leaves tossed with a lemon juice, parsley and fried capers. Simple and delicious. I came around to making it and really loved it. It took a while to separate the leaves, but it was well worth it. Fry them for just a few seconds until the edges turn brown and crispy. It worked wonderfully with roast pork.

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I do roast them, with just a little bit of olive oil, they get crispy in spots and are delicious. I do with the whole sprouts, not only the outer layer, the smaller leaves get darker while the bigger ones get brown in the edge only or in spots. Saw it first in this entry in the Nom Nom Paleo blog, but they do it only with the outer layers.

contramuslo-crujiente-de-pollo-con-chips-coles-de-bruselas-emplatado.jpg?w=450&h=337

Edited to clarify text

Edited by EnriqueB (log)
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Roasted brussel spourt leaves last night in convection oven: lite oil and salt only using leave taken from coring brussels. I needed to take out and shake pan many times throught the last 15 minutes to ensure even browning and crispyness. Near the end, I removed leaves from the pan that had more "core" and were not roaating evenly.

A lot of work but the smell throughout the house and taste is hard to beat.

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