Today’s post is one that I’ve been waiting to write for a very long time. As some of you may know, I’ve been working on a new look for this space for a couple of months now, and though it’s been up and running for a week or so, I’ve tried to keep it under the radar so that I can test it and iron out some last minute bugs.
This blog is still pretty new, so why such a quick re-design, you may ask? When starting the blog, I was in a bit of a deliberation, not knowing whether I should figure out how I wanted it to look and function, or just start writing. I didn’t know exactly what kind of content would be here, so I couldn’t visualize it properly, yet without a place to write, I couldn’t get myself to start writing. My background is in web development, and I’ve spent most of my career bringing other people’s designs to life. When I finally had some time to work on my own project, I jumped at the chance to design it myself. That’s how the first blog was born. Any of you that have gone through a design process (especially when you’re inexperienced like me) will understand how I almost instantly hated it as soon as it went live. As the blog took shape and I started to get some more ideas about where I wanted it to go, a re-design was obviously in the works. So here it is! I will probably hate it really really soon.
Before I get to today’s delicious recipe, I want to highlight some of the major changes that I’ve made and encourage you to poke around. Aside from the shiny new theme, I added/improved a couple of sections. The archives page, my favourite page, now has pictures and a funky little filtering tool to show recipes by categories, tags, and dates.
A new section, which I hope you will take a few minutes to check out it a listing page of my very favourite books about food. Blog lists like this are where I get many book recommendations, so I wanted to share my favourites and help you guys discover some awesome books, if you haven’t read them already. This page is found under “books” on the main menu.
I added a couple of plugins, made some SEO and performance improvements, and hopefully made the blog more visual, accessible, and easier to get around. I’m still working on properly supporting some of the “pickier” browsers (*cough* IE), as well as a mobile version of the site, so there will be continuous improvements over the next little while. In the meantime, please show yourself around, and if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement, I would love to hear them!
On to the recipe! During a market visit a few weeks ago, I found gorgeous brussel sprouts still on their stem, and couldn’t resist the photo-op, and their freshness, of course.
This is the first recipe that I’m sharing that uses barberries (or barbaris), surprisingly, since I cook with them quite often. I first encountered them in Iranian cuisine, as they commonly garnish chicken and rice. They add a super sour little punch. I quickly adapted them to roasted veggies, salads, stews, and other meat dishes. To find barberries, try middle eastern grocery stores, or you can buy them online. If all that fails, just use the currants (or even raisins if you don’t have currants) in the recipe and add an extra squirt of lemon juice just before serving.
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- 2 onions
- 1/4 cup dried currants
- 2 Tbsp. dried barberries
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
- olive oil for coating
- 1/2 lemon + extra virgin olive oil for serving.
- toasted and chopped pecans (garnish)
- chopped curly parsley(garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Trim the brussel sprouts and remove any dry or wilted outer leaves. Cut them in halves.
- Cut the onion into wedges or thick slices.
- Combine the brussel sprouts, onions, currants, and barberries with the curry powder, salt, cayenne and a little olive oil, and toss to combine.
- Spread the mixture out in a roasting pan, cover with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the brussel sprouts are just tender.
- Remove the foil, and bake for another 10 minutes or so to get small crispy char bits on the brussel sprouts. I sometimes use the broiler, or position the pan right below the heat source to do this quicker. Do whatever works best in your oven.
- When done, season with additional salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, and good extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with pecans and parsley.