February 25, 2013
I haven’t eaten nearly as many brussels sprouts as I want this winter. Wanna know why? Because my kids don’t like brussels sprouts. That’s right, y’all, even this hungry mama gets caught up in serving the same ol’, same ol’ veggies to appease the little monsters. I caught myself though and, as soon as I did, made sure to grab a big bunch of the lilliputian cabbages.
My original plan was to roast them with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper. The hungry papa and I would love that, but the kids would just refuse them. If I was going to re-introduce brussels sprouts, I was going to do it with style. Or at least with accompaniments that might draw in the kiddos.
I started with parsnips, a kid-approved root veg that also tastes great roasted and would go well with brussels sprouts. Then I took a page from one of my favorite bloggers, Phyllis of Dash and Bella.
At one point I spied a pic that she posted to Facebook or Instagram or something like that of veggies served with horseradish creme fraiche. Genius. I’d do the same and even add a little lemon and orange zest. Citrus horseradish creme fraiche. Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Plus, kids love to dip. Dipping’s always good.
Did the parsnips and creme fraiche make a difference? No, not really. But, you know, in my opinion, prepping food in a way that’s mindful of everyone’s tastes, putting it on the table, and enjoying it yourself are all that you can do sometimes. This dish is healthy, I tried my best, that’s my job. And a job well done, if I say so myself. These roasted brussels sprouts with parsnips and citrus horseradish creme fraiche are delicious.
To make, simply clean, trim and cut all the veggies in half—lengthwise for the parsnips—toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook in a 400 degree oven until tender all the way through and caramelized in spots.
While magic is happening in the oven, combine prepared horseradish (freshly grated if you can find it), orange zest, lemon zest and salt with creme friache. Sour cream will do, though it isn’t quite the same. If you don’t want to spend the extra bucks or can’t find creme fraiche, make your own in just a couple of days and with just about 3 minutes of effort. It’s crazy easy.
Taste and adjust as you combine the ingredients. If you use fresh horseradish, you may also want to add a squirt of lemon juice. Taste and see. Make it what you want. And don’t be afraid of the spice: add a little for the kids and more for your. Or screw them. It’s important to learn to like spicy food and you gotta start somewhere!
If feeding a baby or early eater, pat their portion of veggies with a paper towel to absorb any excess salt and oil, then puree into an age appropriate consistency or cut into age appropriate bites. If you want to share the dip, feel free to do so as is! If you’re worried about the spice level, keep the horseradish to a minimum of skip in their portion.