This post has been in my queue for six months now. I added it back in March, was when I was madly cooking my way through spring’s cookbook offerings so I could write about the best ones for The Book Review. As you may recall, the dinner table was getting a major shot of adrenaline during the testing phase. There were socca pizzas and poke bowls. There were chocolate loaf cakes and fried zucchini blossoms. There was a lot of gochujang. But it was this simple brussels sprouts dish, from Jeanine Donofrio’s magical Love & Lemons, that has held the distinct honor of “Making it into the Permanent Dinner Rotation.” (An accolade, in my mind worth at least as much as a Best Cookbook Award from one of the country’s most venerable publications, amiright?) When I first made the dish, Brussels were slim pickins at the market — which doesn’t mean I’ve been too proud to make it with a bag from Trader Joe’s — but now they are slowly but surely finding their way back, so I wanted to be sure you had this recipe in your arsenal. It’s vegan and gluten-free for those of you who are into that kind of thing, but more important, it’s like a carnival of flavors: sweetness from the coconut, heat from the Sriracha, depth from the brussels, a smoothness from the avocado, an all-around umami-brightness from the sauce. It’s a goodie.
Coconut Rice with Brussels Sprouts
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Serves 4
From Love & Lemons, by Jeanine Donofrio
1 cup jasmine rice
1 1/4 cups canned light coconut milk
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup torn basil
1/4 cup torn mint
1 small avocado, pitted and diced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Lime slices, for serving
1 tablespoon tamari
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon cane sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 Thai chilies, diced, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Cook the rice according to package instructions, using coconut milk instead of the water. Fluff with a fork to keep warm.
Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, minced garlic, lime juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, water, and chilies. Set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, along with the salt. Let them sear until the cut side becomes golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
Add the scallions during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Remove from heat.
Serve the rice in bowls with the brussels sprouts, basil, mint, avocado, sesame seeds, and sauce drizzled on top. Serve with Sriracha and lime slices on the side.