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Jan 18, 2010 08:22 PM

Brussels sprouts in a risotto... how?

My wife and I recently fell in love with Brussels sprouts and they will very soon go out of season here in NorCal, so we bought two large stalks from our local farmers market to use for this week. Our favorite (and most frequent) way of having the Brussels sprouts is by roasting them in the oven (halving the bigger ones) with a little olive oil and salt, to the point where the outer leaves are sufficiently browned.

While we will end the week with our roasted Brussels sprouts, we're trying to be creative and I want to incorporate them in a risotto with chicken, but I'm not sure what the best way would be to do this.

Shall I shred them and add them early or toward the end? Roast them and add them at the end? Steam them? Other creative ideas? I think the only thing I don't want to do is blanch them b/c I'd lose a lot of the nutrients... but I'm interested in any input on the best way to include them in a risotto :D

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  1. i'd roast and stir in at the end. whether you shred, quarter, slice, or whatever else is really just a matter of preference in terms of how much "texture" you like in your risotto.

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I agree. I'd roast as usual and add to the risotto at the end.

      1. re: valerie

        Thanks... I think I'll combine your recommendation with the "wok char" leaves by Gordon.

    2. I like to peel them apart - cut the stem end and start peeling off one leaf at a time. You'll have to cut the stem end several times as you peel off the petals. It will be difficult to get whole petals when you approach the core. I just thinly slice the core. I would then give them a quick wok char with a bit of garlic oil and then incorporate them into your risotto at the end to just wilt them and finish cooking them - it won't take long at all.

      3 Replies
      1. re: gordon wing

        Om nom nom nom... My mouth is watering! This might have to get worked into the dinner rotation!

        1. re: gordon wing

          Wow, this sounds awesome. By "wok char" (pardon my ignorance), but I'm guessing you mean brown the leaves on the pan?

          1. re: nasv

            Yes, you are right. A little garlic oil and some good salt - a few moments in a hot pan ( doesn't have to be a wok) and they're just about done. For the risotto - just mix them in and let them finish wilting. They keep their nice green color because they don't get overcooked. Lots of prep time but fast cooking time! A few chili flakes might be nice also?

        2. I would parboil the brussel sprouts first, then incorporate the blanching liquid when cooking the risotto. Then I would finish the sprouts by roasting them, then shredding them and incorporating into the risotto towards the end of the cooking process.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Smart idea for saving the nutrients released into the water!

          2. I haven't tried it myself, but yesterday's Recipes For Health in the NYT had this recipe for Lemon Risotto with Brussel Sprouts:

            1 Reply
            1. re: cbrunelle

              Thanks, I'm reading the article now!

            2. Just thought I'd provide a quick update for everyone in case you're interested. Brussels sprouts are tricky in a risotto b/c of all the layers, so while I think the Brussels sprouts essence was felt, the punch of flavor I was hoping for wasn't there.

              I roasted most of the EVOO & salted halved/quartered Brussels sprouts till they were browning on the outside (I love them this way), and mixed them into the risotto about 5 minutes before serving. I also peeled some "leaves" and (I think) "wok charred" them and then mixed them in. Unfortunately, in the stirring, especially for the roasted brussels sprouts, the outer crispy leaves came apart from the delicious centers (that were unseasoned), and so the "whole" Brussels sprouts flavor I was hoping for was somewhat masked in the risotto.

              Next time, I may simply just top the risotto with the Brussels sprouts or mix them separately with some re-seasoning + EVOO before mixing in with the rice.

              Thanks everyone for your suggestions!