It dawned on me last week that it’s been 6 months since I returned from Italy. A half a year makes a huge difference and back then, being a vegetarian was hardly on my radar and sampling food from Rome, Venice, Florence and Tuscany meant I was consuming far more red meat than I ever had in my life. If there was one thing I learned while visiting it was that you NEVER refuse a dish from an Italian host or hostess (even if they’re offering wild boar and mountains of veal) and the term “I don’t eat meat” falls on deaf ears.
So after reminiscing on my meat and poultry filled days in Italy, I was tempted to create more veg-friendly dishes that would make those I met and spent time with, proud. I had also recently read an article about Harvard students creating a similar dish to this Brussel Sprouts Panzanella and considering I’d never even had a Brussel Sprout in my ENTIRE existence, I figured this would be a good chance to test it out. And our good luck in the kitchen continued with this dish, because it was very easy to make and is easily adjustable to any taste!
1 1/2 lbs (about 6 cups Brussel Sprouts), cut in halves
Half loaf (about 6 cups) day old Italian, rustic or foccacia bread, cubed
1 dozen grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cayenne pepper, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, juiced
7 tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
- Over medium heat, combine olive oil, cayenne, white wine and lemon juice in a large frying pan for approximately 5 minutes or until, some of the liquid has evaporated.
- After 5 minutes, add Brussel sprouts and green onions and continue cooking for another 7-8 minutes or until Brussel sprouts are beginning to brown. Add garlic one minute before removing from heat.
- Meanwhile, drizzle the bread cubes with an additional tbsp of olive oil and toast on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 350 degrees
- Once the bread and Brussel sprouts have finished, combine in a large bowl, add the tomatoes, red onions, season with salt and pepper and combine.