I don’t know about y’all, but I feel empty inside if I haven’t eaten anything green in color all day. There are lots of very nutritious vegetables that are orange, or purple, or red – but a green vegetable just feels so good going down. Here are a few recipes that will keep you coming back for a second helping, brought to you by nature’s favorite hue.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
This quick and dirty side dish is ludicrously appropriate for fall, and combined the rich earthiness of everyone’s most hated childhood vegetable with the sweetness of fruit. Just watch out for biological warfare afterward.
1 pound of brussels sprouts (if you get them on the stalk, let’s call it a forearm’s length)
1 large granny smith apple
1 small sweet onion
First you’ll need to chop up your produce. Cut the brussels sprouts in half, and tear off the tough outer leaves lovingly, the way you would dress a baby lamb in footie pajamas. Core the apple and slice it into bite-size chunks. Then dice up the onion into quite small pieces, so no gigantic, offensive wads of onion are hanging around the party.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a pan over medium to medium high heat. Throw in the brussels sprouts first, since they’ll definitely need the most time to cook. After about three or four minutes, throw in the onions. (They will soften and get a nice brown char, but not totally caramelize, so if you like your onions candy-sweet, put them in with the sprouts.) After another three minutes, chuck in the apple slices and toss everything around for a minute or two. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes if that suits you. This’ll serve about four for a side dish.
If you hate mushrooms, I am sorry, but your opinion is wrong.
1 pint baby portobello mushrooms
1 bag spinach
1 block goat cheese (Whatever amount you can afford, really. Brie would be amazing, too.)
Preheat your oven to 350. Throw some olive oil and salt and pepper in a pan and toss in your spinach. You’re going to sautee it very lightly, just so that it barely wilts, as though you’ve mildly insulted it. After just a minute or two of cooking, take the spinach out of the pan and put it in a bowl.
Now, you’ll need to remove the stems from the baby mushrooms. Once that’s done and you’ve composted all the stems like a good hippie, lay all the mushrooms on a baking sheet with the tops up, so you can’t see their undersides. With a pastry brush (or your fingertips if you’re keeping it ratchet) lightly brush on just a tiny smidgen of olive oil onto each mushroom cap. This will prevent them from getting as dry and shrivelled as your grandmother’s elbow in the oven. When they are all coated, flip them over and grind some salt and pepper over the whole lot.
You’re ready to assemble. With a fork, place a few spinach leaves in the cup of each mushroom top. Then take a SMALL lump of goat cheese and balance it precariously atop the spinach on each mushroom. This way, the cheese will melt down and coat the spinach in the ‘shroom, see? Put the pan in the oven for fifteen minutes. Et voila! Les champignons.
We all know and love tomato bruschetta, but why not mix it up a little bit with some mean green asparagus? Addendum: This is not health food. It was never meant to be. Get that notion out of your pretty little head right now.
1 bunch asparagus
1 loaf crusty bread (which you can get pre-sliced into small toasts at some bakeries and grocery stores!)
2 cloves garlic
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees while you are spreading your asparagus out on a baking sheet and drizzling it with black tar heroi – I mean, olive oil. I meant to write olive oil.
Don’t forget to hit that shit with some salt and pepper before you put it in for twenty minutes or so. Now, in a pan with some more EVOO, throw in your garlic that you have clearly already minced into tiny pieces because you’re ahead of the game. After a few minutes, it’ll be nice and golden and toasty, and you can take it off the heat, but DON’T dump the oil out of the pan. While it’s still hot, lay each slice of bread onto the pan so it soaks up some of the garlicky oil and toasts a little bit. Do this until the rage inside you has dulled to a whisper.
When the asparagus is started to look wrinkly, but not like it’s scorched into oblivion, take it out of the oven and wait for it to cool a little so you don’t burn the shit out of yourself chopping it. While you’re waiting, crack as many eggs as you have people you’re serving (wait, what?) into a greased pan and fry them until the white is solid but the yolk is still runny. When it is reasonably cooled, slice the asparagus into one- to two-inch pieces and toss them in a bowl with the sauteed garlic. Spoon a little bit of asparagus onto each toast and top with a fried egg and plenty of freshly cracked black pepper. Serve as an appetizer or as a mouthful of sheer goodness.