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Aug 29, 2014
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By the Book: Andrew Feinberg’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino

July 9th 03:07pm, 2013

If I ever write a cookbook (haha) and Alice Waters writes the foreword, I will immediately retire from the business because it just doesn’t get better than that. Such is the case in Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens and Melissa Clark’s much-anticipated cookbook Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian, which is based on recipes from Feinberg and Stephens’ restaurant Franny’s in Brooklyn. In her foreword, Waters sums up the book best when she writes, “This book captures the beating heart of what makes Franny’s so beautiful: its simplicity, its ability to make the ordinary surprising, and – above all – its celebration of honest everyday cooking.”

From Feinberg’s recipe for his famous Clam Pizza to his Roasted Romano Beans with Calabrese Olives to his Bucatini alla Puttanesca, this cookbook includes a wide range of delicious-looking recipes for everyone from the novice home cook to the expert.

 

 

I chose Feinberg’s recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino because I wanted to shake up the way I always prepare the tiny cabbages – shaving them with a mandoline and simply sauteeing them in olive oil with salt and pepper. Finding a preparation that allows me to avoid my mandolin also was a plus, since I manage to shave a fingertip nearly every time I use it. I also felt that the dish would test Waters’ statement: Would such a simple recipe highlighting an ordinary ingredient become surprising?

 

 

At the bottom of the recipe, Feinberg notes the difference between pecorino romano and pecorino ginepro, advising to avoid the romano and using a manchego if the ginepro was unavailable. I didn’t find the ginepro at Schnucks, so I used manchego. And then, because I’m stubborn, I also tried the recipe with pecorino romano, just to see if he was right.

 

 

Of course, he was right. The romano, as noted, did overpower the sprouts and made them too salty, whereas the manchego was just perfect. The touch of acid with the splash of lemon juice added a brightness to the dish, and the toasted almonds provided an earthy crunch without taking away from the true flavor of the sprouts. Simple. Ordinary. Surprising. Delicious.

 

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino
Serves 4

Roasting Brussels sprouts is an easy and spectacular way to cook them. After they are halved and roasted in a super hot oven, their exteriors become wonderfully dark and crunchy, while the insides stay supple and soft. Once they cool to room temperature, we dress them with lemon juice, roughly chopped toasted almonds and ragged chunks of tangy pecorino. Try to find young (aged 4 to 5 months) pecorino, or feel free to use manchego, which is widely available.

5 cups (about 1½ lbs.) trimmed Brussels sprouts, halved through the stem end
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
½ cup pecorino ginepro or manchego, cut into ¼-inch jagged pieces
6 Tbsp. roughly chopped, toasted, skin-on almonds
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
• Toss the Brussels sprouts with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Season the sprouts with salt and pepper and spread them out in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast until browned and just tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
• Put the Brussels sprouts in a medium bowl and add the pecorino, almonds, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
• Divide the Brussels sprouts among four plates and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

Andrew’s Note: When people see the word “pecorino,” they think of pecorino romano, but there are many different types of pecorino – which simply means a cheese made from sheep’s milk. Romano is generally used in cooked dishes; it’s very salty and strong on its own, and it would overwhelm this dish.

Reprinted with permission from Artisan Press.

How do you simply prepare an ordinary summer vegetable so that it becomes surprising? Tell us in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian by Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens and Melissa Clark. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column.

And now, we’d like to congratulate Lesley, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won her a copy of Polpo: A Venetian Cookbook (of Sorts). Lesley, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew.

 

 

By Julie Cohen

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5 Responses to “By the Book: Andrew Feinberg’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino”

  1. Katie Says:
    July 10th, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Shredded summer squash and carrots mixed with ground chicken, breaded and baked to form healthy chicken “nuggets.”

  2. Hao Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    my favorite summer vegetable is water spinach. my mother cooks the leaves by sauteing them with garlic, salt, and oil — simple and effective. what i think is astounding is she takes the stems, dices them into little rounds, and sautes them as a different dish with some oil, garlic (sliced), and pickled mustard stems (minced). it ends up being a delightful relish-type dish that i spoon onto my rice.

  3. Earen Hummel Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Instead of creamed spinach, I like to make creamed mustard and turnip greens. I have also been wanting to make carrot top pesto.

  4. Lisa Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Sauté pancetta and shallots, add any veggie you like (I usually use grated squash, Swiss chard and pea shoots but anything would work), add cooked whole wheat spaghetti with a little pasta water and finish with Parmesan and squirt of lemon juice. It is delicious!

  5. Brian Says:
    July 15th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    We make eggplant “pizzas.” Take eggplant slices (1/4″ thick) and sprinkle either chopped fresh tomatoes (or if they’re not available we use spicy canned Ro-Tel tomatoes), finely diced onions, olive oil, a little salt and fresh or dried herbs (basil/ Italian). Broil the “pizzas” for 7 minutes (positioning the rack so there is a 4″ space so they cook more evenly). Add shredded mozzarella and broil for another 2 minutes until cheese is melted, a little browned and bubbly.

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