Oven roasted brussel sprouts with walnuts and harissa

IMG_2989I continue my quest to create and reinvent some new and classic dishes with the fresh flavours, colours and tastes of spring. Brussel sprouts is on my list today. With an abundance of them in our local farmers market lately, I could not but help myself but pick these fresh, bright green, mini-cabbage lookalikes :-). They go very well as a side dish and compliment any meal. I’m headed that direction in my kitchen today. I think the easiest, popular and healthiest way to cook them, is simply roasting them with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper. I’m kicking it up a notch by adding harissa, a popular North African spice mix or chilli paste. One can make it fresh at home or simply buy it from the international section of your grocery store. It’s usually found in a paste form, in this recipe I am using it the dried form, basically ground. It’s a very flavourful condiment, a blend of red peppers, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin, being the predominant ingredients, and is used in a variety of Moroccan and Tunisian dishes. Coming back to the brussel sprouts – I’m also adding some crunch. Once again, the stuff lying in my fridge, sprouts new culinary ideas in  my mind. I decide to grab some fresh bread and walnuts and decide to pulse them in my ever so handy mini food processor. A perfect and tasty crunchy topping! Easy to make, healthy and of course, delicious, a great accompaniment to any dish, or simply just gorge on it as a snack 🙂

Servings 4

Ingredients :

Brussel sprouts – 10-12IMG_2986

Fresh bread – a couple of slices

Walnuts – a handful

Ground harissa, in a powder form – 1 tsp.

Extra virgin olive oil –  2 tbsp.

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

For the crunchy topping, pulse the fresh bread slices and walnuts in a food processor to a course consistency.IMG_2864

Remove and separate the leaves of the brussel sprouts and arrange on a baking tray. Spread them out evenly. IMG_2987Add the extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and harissa. Toss and coat well. Sprinkle the walnut breadcrumb topping and toss lightly.IMG_2988 Pop in the oven for about 10-15 mins, till the brussel sprouts start turning a golden brown. Voila! It’s that simple!IMG_2989

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