When I was younger I used to watch The Food Network religiously. Who am I kidding, I still do! Or I did when I used to have cable. I have a lot of favorite shows, but there was one I always remember because I loved the way it made me feel. Nigella Lawson used to host a show called Nigella Bites or Nigella Feasts, and she had this way of making you crave comfort food. I’m not sure if it was her accent or her love for real food, but whatever it was-I would be starving by the time the show was over. And unfortunately for me her show was always on late at night. Go figure.
Well the other night I had a late night craving for something fresh yet something very satisfying, so I got creative in the kitchen, and I made sauteed Brussels sprouts with an Orange Champagne Vinaigrette. I paired it with a refreshing White Rioja and called it a night. It was one of those perfect food and wine pairings where you realize the two were meant to go together.
I started by sautéing fresh minced garlic and olive oil in a pan. Using my mandolin slicer, I shaved about 10 large Brussels sprouts and added them to the pan as well. I sauteed until they had a bright green color and were slightly cooked through. Next I added a splash or two of Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar and sauteed a little longer. I have become obsessed with this Vinegar, but I can imagine a couple squeezes of fresh orange juice would be fantastic.
Because of my lack of ingredients I kept this dish simple and basic, but I think it would be even better with sauteed onions, or chopped hazelnuts, or even pieces of pancetta or bacon.
I paired the Brussels sprouts with Martinez Lacuesta Blanco Rioja 2011 which is 100% Viura from Rioja, Spain. The wine is bright and fresh with a touch of herb and earth, but a clean citrus note in the middle. The combination of the earthy and citrusy sprouts with this wine was incredible. Neither one over powered the other, and they really harmonized together in my mouth.
Because this dish turned out so well I’ve been experimenting with shaved Brussels sprouts in other recipes. Last night I had them with garlic, onions, hot peppers, and rainbow chard from the farmers market.