easy enough February 14, 2013

The push and pull in my own head about my work – which spills over to cooking and photos and the things I share here – can be overwhelming sometimes. I dare say… paralyzing. I’m certainly my own worst critic. One particular photographer I work with said to me, years ago while on a shoot, that “I think you’re just overthinking it a bit.” He has a British accent so it somehow didn’t sound as bad at the time. I hear those words a lot now and I’ve tried to go with the flow of things, trust my instincts and let the food fall as it may. It’s been really liberating and, while I still tend to be a worrier and certainly an over-planner, the freedom and inspiration I feel on set these days seems to be coming through in my styling.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I cook at home a lot, despite my crazy schedule. I enjoy it and it’s another creative outlet for me. Most of the food we cook at home is very simple and, many times, barely requires a recipe. I struggle with whether things are too simple or aren’t “food blog-y” enough, which sounds ridiculous when you type it out loud. Just as I’ve done with the cooking in my day job, I’m working at sharing things here that aren’t a seven layer dip that requires nine pastry bags to complete (something I got myself into via Pinterest – don’t ask).

One night, in an effort to use up some Brussels sprouts that were languishing in the fridge, I went looking for something to spruce them up with as I roasted them. No lemons, not in the mood for balsamic…but we did have a few blood oranges around. Citrus is citrus, right? If Brussels take to acid of lemon juice or vinegar, orange juice should work, too, right? It worked – fantastically. When I’ve made them since, I’ve added some thin slices of the orange to the pan – when they cook just right, they’re edible and have a candied, tender quality that rocks with the bitterness of the Brussels. If you’re wary of using acidic ingredients in a cast iron pan, feel free to use a baking dish or oven safe skillet – they turn out just as well.

Blood Orange Roasted Brussels Sprouts – serves 4 to 6 as a side dish

  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts – ends trimmed and sprouts cut in half (or quartered if on the big side)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium blood orange – cut in half
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

– Preheat your oven to 400 F. Place your cast iron skillet or roasting dish in the oven to heat up while you prep your ingredients.

– Take one cut half of the blood orange and cut that one in half horizontally – this will give you a flat edge to cut your orange on & stabilize it. Slice it into 1/4″ half-moon shaped pieces. If this is too fussy for you, cut them thinly however you’d like. The thinner, the more tender they’ll get if you plan on eating the citrus.

– In a large mixing bowl, combine the halved Brussels sprouts and the olive oil. Toss the Brussels together with the oil to combine then stir in the sliced blood orange. Take the reserved half and zest it into the bowl. Once zested, juice that half into the bowl (using a squeeze juicer or avoiding the seeds with your fingers) and discard. Toss to combine this all together and sprinkle with salt & pepper. CAREFULLY remove the preheated pan from the oven (use a mitt or towel, please!) and pour the Brussels into the pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once mid-way through, until the sprouts are tender and have some char & caramelizing on the leaves. Once removed from the oven, these can be served immediately or at room temperature.


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar Feb 14, 2013 04:02 pm

Easy enough and pretty! Great recipe :)

bons Feb 14, 2013 04:02 pm

That looks beautiful and delicious. I am almost too scared to attempt it as no one will eat it but me. I feel that I must, I am compelled, as currently I have the ingredients and the cast iron.

Niki Feb 14, 2013 06:02 pm

Oh! I LOVE a roasted Brussels sprout, especially in a cast iron skillet. This sounds delightful, and like maybe our brains have been on the same wavelength of late.

Sarah Feb 14, 2013 10:02 pm

This looks so delicious. I love the citrus in it.

Ruth Feb 15, 2013 02:02 am

Almost makes me want to eat brussels sprouts!

kellie@foodtoglow Feb 15, 2013 04:02 am

These sound lush! Blood oranges have just left the shops here in Scotland but I am sure ‘normal’ oranges will work as well.

Silver Magpies Feb 15, 2013 07:02 am

We should celebrate when we figure out easy enough! And, as a bonus this is another fantastic idea for blood oranges.

– Nan

Heidi @foodiecrush Feb 15, 2013 10:02 am

I couldn’t agree with you more. As creative types we’re always looking at other creations for inspiration and looking at ourselves harsher than we probably should. We’re the only ones who know notice the spec out of place or the abnormal ripple in the background. And just like a glass of wine, a British accent always makes things sound better.

Laura Feb 15, 2013 01:02 pm

I’ve worried about these things too. That something isn’t interesting or elaborate enough to put on a food blog. In the end, I always reason that it’s my space and it should just reflect my food life in a real sense. Peeps seem to connect with that intuitively. Everyone likes delicious things that come together quick and make them feel like a kitchen hero. Case in point: these brussels sprouts. So great.

brighto Feb 15, 2013 07:02 pm

I’m the QUEEN of overthinking and as many negatives as it brings into my life, I have to admit that my over-analyzing and type-a mentality does have some upsides to! Just like I KNOW yours does as well! There’s always going to be a trade-off of sorts when it comes to personality traits and I think this is a good one to have :)

Lynn Feb 16, 2013 08:02 am

I wish I had some of those to eat right now. Lovely idea – the oranges.

kelsey Feb 17, 2013 10:02 pm

YUM! I love brussels sprouts- I bring them to every Thanksgiving meal, and my mom and I are the only two who eat them! Ha- follow me at http://styleandtreats.com and maybe you’ll see some brussels sprouts recipes in the future!!!

Paula - bell'alimento Feb 18, 2013 01:02 pm

I’m a total over-thinker too ; ) These sprouts, swoon!

Leslie Feb 19, 2013 11:02 am

This looks GREAT! I love blood oranges. I also like that brussel sprouts hold up better as leftovers the next day than most roasted vegetables.

And Then The Doorbell Rang

Rhonda Feb 21, 2013 10:02 pm

I feel your pain, is it blog-ey enough? And sometimes I’m just lazy, I want to cook and eat without photo fanfare. Your Brussels Sprouts look wonderful. I have some in my fridge also, but I just used my last two blood oranges yesterday. Maybe I’ll come up with something blog-ey enough.

URL Feb 22, 2013 02:02 pm

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Bridget Mar 25, 2013 03:03 am

Although I don’t own a cast iron skillet, I know shame on me lol, I do have a stainless steel Wolfgang Puck pan that I love! The only ingredient I am lacking is Olive Oil, but I will grab some of that today and I don’t have anything to “zest” the orange. Hoping I can find something as I have everything on hand to prepare this and it sounds delicious!

marydith morgan Mar 25, 2013 01:03 pm

These sound awesome…I have some Blood Orange Olive Oil that I’m going to try with this recipe! Beautiful photo too!

viveca Apr 2, 2013 10:04 pm

Did a variation of this dish usually peanut oil. I sauteed red onions, garlic cloves banana peppers. Used sea salt & fresh pepper as seasoning to taste. Added brussels cut in half on top of onions, garlic and banana peppers. I also added shitake mushrooms or portabellos to it as well. Put a top on it and cooked on medium. So good!

Nichole Partney Jun 9, 2013 11:06 am

I’ll be making this for lunch! I LOVE Brussels sprouts and blood oranges separately. They’re bound to be amazing together. Beautiful photo!

Lilly Mar 11, 2014 05:03 am

This recipe is amazing, my boyfriend hates brussels sprouts but he loves these and asks me to make them at least once a week. Mine never turn out this pretty but tast great. Thank you for the way easy and very tasty recipe.

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