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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Stuff, Roll & Simmer these Brussels Leaves
Photo: Liz Rueven

Stuff, Roll & Simmer these Brussels Leaves

Have you seen the thick stalks of brussels sprouts at your local farmers’ market yet? This cold weather crop begins to appear at the end of October and crescendos in November, landing on Thanksgiving tables across America.

While I love brussels sprout buds (yup, that’s what they’re called) halved or shaved and roasted until crispy, it’s the fan shaped leaves that hold the real allure for me.

Vegetarian brussels sprouts leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

For this vegetarian recipe you’ll only need the leaves, which some farmers are good enough to sell separated from the stalks. Stephanie, co- owner of Ox Hollow Farm, CT, was offering them so I thought it was time for me to re-think a meat recipe I’ve posted here. Meat lovers, just head right back to that oldie but goodie.

vegetarian Brussels sprouts leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

As an aside, ramble around your farmers’ market with a two foot stalk, nubs and leaves attached, and I promise that you’ll have some fun conversations along the way.

Brussels sprouts leaves stuffed vegetarian
Photo: Liz Rueven

Stuffing, rolling and slow simmering brussels sprouts leaves are easier to handle than cabbage leaves and much less shtinky. There’s no need to boil or freeze them, as you might do with cabbage leaves. Funny thing: the buds are the part that taste and smell a little, well, cabbage-y.

The leaves do not.

Last time I wrote about them, I riffed on the sweet and sour stuffed cabbage of my Eastern European grandparents but spiced it up with Middle Eastern flavors. The meat and rice filling was similar to to the classic but the ras al hanout spice blend changed the story completely.

vegetarian stuffed brussels sprouts leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

This time, I was inspired by flavors I found at my local farmers’ market. I spied fresh turmeric and young ginger at Fort Hill Farm, one of my favorite organic vendors at Westport Farmers’ Market in CT.

turmeric root Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

I’ve seen both fresh roots at other markets so be on the lookout. Also know that you can use the powdered spices if you choose to. They are warming spices, perfect for all sorts of soups and stews as the cooler weather settles in.

Vegetarian brussels sprouts leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

As I formed some loose thoughts around a vegetarian filling, I stocked up on other seasonal basics, imagining them as part of a rice filling: kale, carrots, onions, garlic and a handful of end of season tomatoes.

Warming spices for vegetarian stuffed leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

This recipe is a bit of a patchkie (very loose translation: fuss), but it is well worth the effort on a chilly weekend. I use my All Clad slow cooker because I believe that most things benefit from a low and slow simmer. It also reduces clean-up as it’s almost impossible to burn the pot (the slow cooker insert).

Vegetarian stuffed brussels leaves Kosher Like Me
Photo: Liz Rueven

Lastly, in my research for more about brussels sprouts, I ran across this exciting post about how to roast the stalk with buds attached.

This sounds like a Thanksgiving centerpiece with interactive possibilities to me. As the host, DO be careful about handing out sharp knives to carve up the edible centerpiece if you’ve been enjoying fine wine for a while before the main event.

Disclosure: When readers purchase items through some of the links in this post, Kosher Like Me may benefit by receiving a small percentage of that sale. There is no cost for the buyer. Thanks for supporting this blogging habit of mine.

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