Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is “Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en papillote”.
This recipe is very easy to prepare and consists of merely eight ingredients. The vegetables that are baked in parchment are Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash and together with one Granny Smith Apple they make for a delicious and healthy side dish. Although this vegetable dish clearly does have a late autumn/early winter appeal, it is still delicious at this time of year. Other than the two vegetables and the one fruit, all you need is a good-quality olive oil (I used Greek organic olive oil), some freshly ground black pepper, a bit of sea salt, some natural brown sugar and a few fresh Winter Sage leaves (still growing in my garden).
Brussels Sprouts have quite a dreadful reputation. Like miniature versions of the common cabbage, they grow on large stalks and have a sweet, nutty flavor, which some people can find too pungent. But, treated with a touch of love and care, these little buds can become one of your favorite winter vegetables. When shopping for this vegetable, you should look for the ones with tight compact heads and no sign of wilting and the stalks should look moist and freshly cut. Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed shredded, either eaten raw in a salad or fried with bacon and butter. Or they can be blanched in boiling water or baked in the oven as part of a gratin. And although they are in season from September until April around here, I had a hard time finding really fresh ones.
But what proved to be almost impossible to find at the beginning of February was Butternut Squash. We do not eat that much squash or pumpkins around here and they usually disappear from the stores before Christmas. I had bought some sweet potatoes from Israel as a back-up but finally found what must have been the last butternut squash anywhere in the City of Bonn. Since I used only about a third for this recipe, I will prepare a Focaccia with roasted Butternut Squash on the weekend.
Granny Smiths, on the other hand, are readily available year round and the cubed apple made an interesting addition to the Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash. Not too sweet and even after baking "en papillote" for a good thirty minutes, the apple cubes still kept their shape.
Since I took so many liberties with last weeks´ recipe, I followed this one to “a T” except for the fact that I baked everything in one package, not four packages and used unbleached parchment paper as opposed to aluminum foil.
I never use aluminum foil in my cooking or baking and the presentation in a “parchment papillote” is so much prettier than one in foil.
At one of the many fruit & vegetable shops that I went to before I could get started with this recipe, I found some very fresh looking Jerusalem Artichokes and decided to make some veggie chips that I served alongside the Squash and Sprouts. Sprinkled with French sea salt, we find them to be quite tasty. They curl up quite a bit while frying and have to be watched carefully because they are fully cooked in about a minute.
We liked today´s recipe and it was a cinch to prepare. The sweetness from the brown sugar harmonized nicely with the tart apple and the wintry vegetables. Definitely a side-dish to keep in mind for next fall/winter when squash is abundantly available.
To see how the other Doristas prepared the “Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en papillote”, please click here.
That's artichoke chips? Wow I want to have that! Looks amazing. I'm a huge fan of Brussel sprouts from the first time I had and it's too bad this veggie is not popular. I'd never tried making them with parchment paper so that's now a must! So pretty with butternut squash!ReplyDelete
Nami, Brussels sprouts seem to be disliked by many people but we like them quite a bit. Steamed or fried or "en papillote", they are always delicious and even more so when paired with squash. And yes, these are Jerusalem Artichoke chips, they are quite wonderful with French sea salt.Delete
My market had one butternut squash left, but it was enormous and so I just bought a little red kuri squash instead. I like them better than butternut anyway and they are easier to find here in Germany.ReplyDelete
Rose, nice that you could readily find squash for your dish.Delete
Andrea, I still have a few butternut squash from my garden. I keep them in a cold room, because of the hard shell they are still good. This recipe was a great way to use them up! Love your photos…and I love that you used parchment to bake these. You’re right…it does make for a pretty presentation! Can’t wait to see your Focaccia…I’m doing mine this weekend too! Enjoy your weekend!ReplyDelete
Kathy, I am quite envious of your butternut squash then, I cannot believe that you grow it right in your own garden - that is just wonderful! And the Focaccia, we will see how that turns out, looking forward to it though.Delete
Lovely presentation. Next time I make this dish, I will need to cook it in parchment. I love the Jerusalem Artichoke chips. I am glad you enjoyed the dish - we did too. Hope you have a nice weekend.ReplyDelete
Geraldine, thank you for the comment! Jerusalem Artichokes certainly look funny when uncooked - knobbly vegetables - but are quite delicious when fried.Delete
Your vegetables look quite tasty and make for a great presentation. We all enjoyed this one. Those artichoke chips areReplyDelete
interesting. I have never heard of that before. Have a great weekend.
Thanks, Nana, it is so nice to read that everyone seems to have eonjoyed this week´s recipe so much.Delete
YOur packets are beautifully presented. (And those bowls are lovely)ReplyDelete
I have loved Brussels sprouts since I was a very young girl and will use any excuse to make them.
I have never seen a Jerusalem artichoke in person - although I have read about them in many places. They look delicious.
Cher, thank you - the bowls are part of my collection of Polish ceramics and I love using them a lot. Jerusalem Artichokes are not to be confused with French Artichokes. The first belong to the sunflower family. It is the plant’s small knobbly underground tubers that are eaten. These tubers are compatible with many flavorings and they are often served in soups or as side dishes.Delete
Beautiful presentation, as always! And thank you for the ideas on cooking Brussels sprouts. My husband loves them but has really only had them steamed, so he has no tips for me (a newbie to this veg!) I love the idea of frying them with bacon! I gotta try that soon. This was a quick and easy way to cook these veggies, but I think I liked them roasted better. Still, definitely a winner at our house! Very comforting for our brief cold front!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Sara, we are so used to eating Brussels sprouts in so many different ways and most of the people I know like them a lot. So we make them a lot and come up with all kinds of different ways to serve them.Delete
Beautifully done...you have a knack for lovely presentation. And, the only time I use foil in on the grill...the parchment is rustically beautiful and smarter! I was lucky...I have a few butternuts from my dad's garden that he sent to me last fall...still fresh and good (he sent about 30--I return oranges and citrus to him) so I'm happy to have ways to use them. Never had artichoke chips...but I do like vege chips of many kinds, so that sounds interesting to me.ReplyDelete
Kris, thank you for the lovely comment - butternuts from your Dad´s garden...now I am seriously jealous...I love it when people grow their own gardens and get to use their homegrown produce. How very wonderful!Delete
I love how you tied off your packets, Andrea! Your vegetables and veggie chips look wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing your focaccia with the roasted butter nut squash. :) Have a great weekend!ReplyDelete
Elains, thank you, actually, I did not even realize that we are making Focaccia for TwD. Well, will just have to make it twice. But since we like that free form "bread" quite a bit, I am sure that the family will not mind.Delete
This sounds like a lovely combination of flavors and so easy to prepare. I can get butternut squash most of the year here in New England but sun chokes is another story. I don't think I've ever seen them fresh in the markets. Occasionally, I have seen them in jars packed in olive oil. KarenReplyDelete
Karen, this was indeed a very simple recipe - tasty and easy to prepare, the hardest part was procuring the ingredients for this recipe. I think I will wait until late fall this year to make the recipe again. Fresh "Jerusalem Artichokes" or "Sun Chokes" as they are also called have become quite popular here - they contain little starch and are considered to be a good and healthy alternative to the common potato. I have never seen them packed in olive oil but now I am curious and will look for them in oil. Thanks for the insights and for commenting!Delete
I couldn´t find brussels sprouts anywhere. So this didn´t happen, no point in making it without them. I like the way you tied the packets and I love the idea of squash focaccia! Looking forward to that recipe. Have a great weekend Andrea!ReplyDelete
Paula, now I really have to make that Focaccis with the roasted Butternut Squash.I am not surprised that you could not find those Brussels Sprouts, it is a winter vegetable. I had also considered to substitute sweeet potatoes for the squash because it was next to impossible to find butternut squash here at this time of year.Delete
Your packet is beautiful! No way to make foil look that nice :) So glad you could find a butternut squash...sometimes the FFwD ingredients take a lot of hunting to find!ReplyDelete
Liz, thank you -I just could not make myself pack those vegetables in aluminium foil but other than that, this was a wonderful recipe but you are so right, it takes quite some time to find all those ingredients for all those recipes.Delete
I love the look of unbleached parchment (as well as the function), but the look adds a touch of rustic elegance. I enjoyed this dish, though I do prefer these particular vegetables roasted. Even here in the U.S., I had a hard time finding butternut squash (any winter squash, actually). Perhaps they were popular this year and everyone already ate the supply. Who knows. I have never tried Jerusalem artichokes. I recently learned that they are a native plant here, but, not popular, I guess. I seldom see them for sale. The chips look quite appetizing though. I hope you have a fabulous weekend, Andrea! Let us know how the foccacia turns out.ReplyDelete
Betsy, thank you for the lovely comment - unbleached parchment paper does not only look prettier but it is also better for one´s health to avoid foil whenever possible. That butternut squash was difficult to find but I believ sweet potatoes would also have been lovely in this dish. The Jerusalem Artichokes are a bit the new "in" vegetable here and are available from October through March, tha´s why I had no trouble finding them. But it was my first time for frying them - delicious and super simple.Delete
I love the look of your 'package'. I need some unbleached parchment! I'm trying ginger water today and will hopefully feel better soon. Thanks for the tip!ReplyDelete
Guyla, I certainly hope that the "ginger water" will work its magic - it actually does nor taste bad either and is aldo quite refreshing.Delete
I like the look of your vege chips - delish. And you are right - the paper is rustically pretty, not sterile like the foil.ReplyDelete
Foil versus parchment papaer and "en papillote" versus foil, it certainly was the reason for some lively discussions this week.Delete
Parchment is so much prettier than foil in this application. It's funny which recipes get played with by the group and which ones are left as they are. I liked how these vegetables turned out en papillote, but agree with the majority that roasted is best.ReplyDelete
The Jerusalem artichoke chips look delicious! They are available in Vancouver, but not as ubiquitously as squash and Brussels sprouts - I had no trouble at all finding the ingredients for this week's dish.
Teresa, I alwyas use parchment no foil, prettier and healthier that way and yes, roasted is better most times than "szeamed" but since I had taken so many loberties with the recipe last week, I felt that I should not change up this one too much.Delete
I had a hard time finding squash and Brussels sprouts on the day I wanted them but wouldn't you know that my favorite grocery store had both when I went there yesterday. The artichoke chips look delicious!ReplyDelete
Maggie, how nice that your fruit monger had all the ingedients that you needed for this recipe when you needed them!Delete
Oh my- every single one of your photos was a work of art- gorgeous !! I greatly enjoyed reading your post and felt guilty since this again was a week where Nana delivered me the ingredients. Hubby traveling, me working and my younger son got sick. Even when easy to cook, it doesn't happen without the ingredients :) I am going to revisit this technique with actual parchment next time and switch up the ingredients a bit to play around. I do love the inspiration Dorie provides us each week. And I absolutely want to try those artichoke chips - amazing and thanks for sharing !!!ReplyDelete
Tricia, certainly hope that your son will be feeling better very soon - whishing him the speediest of recoveries! You are so right about the time it takes to procure all those ingredienst even if it is for an "easy" recipe - I could not believe it took me so much time to collect the few ingredients together before getting started on this simple recipe.Delete
I think the apple was the 'new bit' for me this week. Never did that before with these and I have eaten a TON of brussels sprouts. Who knew? I have more...but will roast these.ReplyDelete
Trevor, that is nice to hear that you eat Brussels Sprouts a lot and surprising too bcecause lots of people I know have quite a dislike for them.Delete
Jerusalem Artichoke chips are a great treat! I think the look of parchment is much better than foil too.ReplyDelete
Thank, Renee, parchment always looks so much better than foil and it is also healthier to use unbleached paper than foil for baking or cooking.Delete