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Friday, November 12, 2010

Brown-Sugar Squash and Brussel Sprouts en Papillote - FFwD

I am enjoying cooking my way through Dorie Greenspan's around my french table.   When the recipe suggestions for November's French Fridays with Dorie were posted, I knew that I could not vote for brussel sprouts.  Evil little cabbages.

My father grew them in our huge backyard garden.  And they grew well.  Towering trees of evil little cabbages.  I think that the groundhogs and rabbits ignored them.

We were a "clean plate" family.  I happened to sit close to the trash can, during brussel  sprouts season, little balls would roll across the table from my five siblings and I would quickly dispose of them and one of my brothers would hurry to empty the trash after dinner.

Every so often, I will run across a brussel sprout lover.  I am always surprised that they exist.  I have tried brussel sprouts.  They are attractive little balls, you would think that they should taste good.  I have roasted them, steamed them, simmered them, pureed them.  With the same conclusion.  Evil little cabbages.

Some how, I continue to find myself drawn to them.  There they were in the grocery store, beautiful looking perfect balls.  I bought them.  Maybe this time I could find the right recipe.  Then I remembered Dorie's recipe.  This recipe was concocted by Dorie solely because the main ingredients were next to each other in the farmers market when she went shopping.  Really, that is how it works for her.

I was hesitant because I don't generally like sugar on my vegetables.  I checked the ingredient list.  I happened to have a butternut squash in the pantry, and granny smith apples had been on sale.  I have a backyard full of sage.  I always have brown sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil.

I peeled and cubed some butternut squash, cut the evil little cabbages in half, cut up an apple and mixed it all together.  I sprinkled the mixture with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Put some of the mixture in the middle of tin foil squares, topped it with sage and the tiniest amount of brown sugar and popped it into the oven.

I liked it.  I amazingly liked it.  I mean if I had a friend who was growing the evil little cabbages and came over to dinner with them, I have a recipe.  This is a weight off my shoulders, at almost the half century mark I can clean those brussel sprouts off my plate!


  1. Evil little cabbages--you're hilarious! I am a brussels sprouts lover, and could happily eat them roasted every night. I voted for this recipe, and may even have lobbied for it a bit, so was disappointed when it wasn't chosen. But, I can still make it, and if you liked it, I'll love it! I went with the caramel topped thing this week.

  2. I'm impressed that you marched on with the recipe despite your background with the evil little cabbages! I'll admit, I am not a fan of brussels sprouts, so I was glad when this recipe was not chosen. They just look unappetizing. But, I may give this a try since your dish turned out well.

  3. Nice post. I am also drawn to these delightful looking little them every year...and they are always a disappointment! Every year I look at them and think they will taste better, so I repeat the process...and, you are right, they are evil. They have some kind of power that makes me think all my family will love them, all roasted and seasoned and on a pretty platter...BUT...they are always awful! I almost bought some again this week! But I refrained...thinking I would wait a week. And now I'm glad I did...I will do what you did and anticipate better results! Thanks for sharing.

  4. I actually voted for this recipe because I had an aversion to those little cabbages as a child! But, I have since learned to love and appreciate them as an adult. Your pictures are wonderful and make me want to make this recipe this weekend!

  5. This was the number one recipe I was sure I wanted to be will laugh but all the four I voted for were NOT chosen...that should probably tell us all something, right? lol I love Brussels sprouts! My husband had never had them and the first time I fixed them he said, "What are these little bitty heads of lettuce on my plate?" He doesn't care for them but my two boys sure do! Yours look great, I am so making this one very soon.

  6. Yum! My parents didn't grow brussel sprouts, but actual cabbages - which I don't like. But brussel sprouts I DO like. The recipe sounds delicious

  7. I'm another Kayte as nothing I voted was chosen. I wish I had made these! Not too late so I'm off to the store! Yummy.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  8. I voted for this recipe and was disappointed it wasn't chosen - only one of mine was and I haven't even made it yet!

    I'm glad you like how these turn out. I'm looking forward to making them some time.

  9. I like brussell sprouts!! This sounds amazing!

  10. I LOLed reading your post. I used to hate these tiny stink balls too. Not anymore, count me in as one of the Brussels sprouts lovers and I will make this dish ASAP!:)

  11. I'm inspired! I have friends that like them, but I never do. At one of my local stores you ca buy them still on the stalk, they look so cute. I think I'll have to pick some up and make this. Thanks!