317: Rock-Paper-Brussels Sprouts

Rock-Paper-Brussels Sprouts

I am thrilled with myself.

It’s Brussels sprouts again, with pigs and vinegar (or something like it), of course, but this time, it’s way more fun to make. It’s like playing Rock-Paper-Scissors with your food. Only, without the scissors.

See, all you have to do is get some Brussels sprouts, and about half as much thinly-sliced proscuitto (by weight – I used 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts and 1/4 pound prosciutto). You tear the prosciutto strips in half, not lengthwise (the pain-in-the-ass way), but across the short way, so you’re really just separating the prosciutto strip into two parts along its natural seam. Each piece of prosciutto should be about as big as the palm of your hand. (But for God’s sake, don’t get out the scissors to make them perfect.)

Okay, ready? The sprout is the rock. The pig is the paper. Paper wins every time. (I love winning when I’m Paper. It’s like saying Neener neener, I won, and you get a hug. Winning when you’re Rock just obliterates your opponent’s fingers, and when you’re Scissors, really, who believes my two fingers will cut your hand in half? That’s ridiculous.)

But wait, we’re still cooking. Wrap each sprout in prosciutto, folding the meat all the way around the vegetable so it adheres to itself, adding them to a baking pan generously greased with olive oil as you make them. When you’re finished, roll them around a little in the pan, so they get oiled on all sides, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and roast at 400 degrees for about half an hour, or until the prosciutto begins to brown and crisp. Squeeze some Meyer lemon juice (I used about a quarter of a fat, juicy one) over the sprouts, and shake the pan back and forth to distribute it. (I’m sure a regular lemon, or a bit of balsamic vinegar, would also do the trick.) Serve hot, as a side dish.

Or. OR. Serve them as an autumnal version of melon and prosciutto, speared with toothpicks, as an appetizer.

My goodness, where could this lead? I thought I’d wrapped everything in prosciutto, but it occurs to me now that I’d always served things cold (prosciutto-wrapped strawberries, prosciutto-wrapped blanched asparagus) or fishy (shrimp, scallops, etc.). Now, I don’t have to tell you that I’d eat cardboard if you wrapped it in a good Serrano ham, but lo! The possibilities!

What about roasted prosciutto-wrapped baby potatoes, made with a smear of Dijon between the potato and the pig? Little spring rolls, with prosciutto on the outside and creamed kale on the inside? Slices of kabocha squash, rolled in spice, then wrapped . . .

I love being Paper.

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Filed under appetizers, pork, recipe, vegetables

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