Tom and I love the fall. Maybe it’s because it was our favorite time of year living in New York and perhaps we love it here in Florida because the weather is a bit less humid and we enjoy his grilled specialties while dining on the lanai to the sound of ducks on the lake. Our favorite fall veggie is Tom’s grilled Brussels Sprout on the stalk. This year, we were fortunate to enjoy them through early December. Here is Tom’s story.
As a child growing up in the suburbs of New York City, I never like Brussels Sprout. They were just another vegetable my Italian mother made me eat. Who would guess that in my 60’s I would develop a new appreciation for this vegetable?
We love our Trader Joe’s in Naples, Florida and we visit the store 2 – 3 times a month to pick up the unusual and special culinary items that we can’t find in a supermarket. On one visit last year, we came upon a display crate full of Brussels Sprout stalks. At first, I didn’t realize what they were. Each one is a heavy, sturdy 2 foot long stalk with dozens of Brussels Sprout attached. I was intrigued and impulsively bought one without any idea of how I was going to cook it but I was sure that I wasn’t going to just remove the sprouts from the stalk and steam them! With grilling season being all year in SWFL, I decided to cook them on my grill. Here’s the simple recipe. We rate it 2 forks for moderate preparation:
- One 2-2 ½ foot long Brussels Sprout Stalk (Seasonally available at the end of Fall)
- 3 – 4 Tbsp diced pancetta lightly sautéed in EVOO
- 1 Small diced onion lightly sautéed in EVOO
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) enough to brush or spray the entire stalk and for sautéing the pancetta and onions
- 3 – 4 Tbsp Shaved or Shredded 3 Cheese blend. We prefer Parmesan /Romano/Asiago blend
- Coarse Ground Sea Salt
- Coarse Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Herb de Provence or Italian Seasoning
- 1 – 2 Tbsp Pignoli Nuts or Sliced Almonds
- 2 – 3 Tbsp Raisins or Craisins
*Make sure the stalk will fit on the grill before preparing the stalk!
Pre-heat the grill to Medium – High Heat
- Rinse and pat or air dry the stalk
- Lay the stalk on top of double width aluminum foil. Make sure it is long and wide enough to enclose the entire stalk.
- Liberally spray or brush the stalk with EVOO
- Drizzle the diced and sautéed pancetta and onion along with the EVOO over the stalk
- Sprinkle the stalk with shaved and shredded Parmesan/Romano/Asiago cheese.
- Sprinkle the Pignoli nuts or sliced almonds and raisins or Craisins over the stalk
- Dust with Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning
- Sprinkle with Coarse Ground Sea Salt and Coarse Ground Black Pepper
**Note: The seasonings will adhere to the stalk better if the stalk is coated with EVOO. Otherwise, they will fall off a dry stalk.
9. Fold up Aluminum foil sides and ends to completely enclose the stalk
10. Place directly on the back of the bottom rack of the grill. Cook for 45 minutes. Don’t worry. It will not burn!
***Note: Grill the meat of your choice (Steak, London Broil, Ribs, etc) on your grill alongside the stalk.
11. After 45 minutes, remove the stalk from the grill. Place on a long platter and let it stand wrapped for 4-5 minutes. Open the top of the foil wrap for a great table presentation!
When ready to serve, sever each sprout with a sharp knife and place directly on everyone’s dinner plate. Much of the drizzled / sprinkled add-ons will collect at the bottom of the foil wrap. Scoop the add-ons and drizzle them on the plated sprouts. Enjoy with your favorite grilled meat. Leftover sprouts can be sautéed in EVOO and enjoyed the next day.