At Thanksgiving, we are always looking for that perfect side dish to complement or highlight the rest of the meal or to add that missing touch. Bright green is a hard-to-come-by commodity outside of the the usual salad. Brussel sprouts are often the go-to green vegetable this time of year, but roasting them will dull the color and then your green vegetable becomes yet another dish that looks and tastes similar to all the others on the table. With the abundance of roasted dishes that Thanksgiving yields, having a vegetable that is bright in both color and flavor is very welcome addition.
We quartered our brussels sprouts for a quicker cook time and did a light saute in cast-iron skillet with a bit of olive oil and then gave them a splash of wine vinegar upon completion. The black rice was cooked a day or two ahead and reheated and crisped up the skillet with 2 tablespoons of minced ginger, a bit of olive oil and a touch of mandarin zest to finish. Once the rice was crisped it was added to the brussels sprouts with some chopped raw walnuts and finely-sliced red onion. Because our brussels sprouts are more satisfying than “just” a vegetable (it does have rice and walnuts so you can consider it like a stuffing), guests can go easy on other heavy carb-laden offerings and boost their holiday nutrition with an big serving of this side dish.
Rinse brussels sprouts and remove any outside leaves that are damaged. With a sharp paring knife remove the end of the stem and then quarter the larger sprouts. Smaller ones can be halved.
Heat a skillet on medium and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil and saute brussels sprouts until they are tender, but do not overcook. Remove the brussels sprouts from the skillet and and give them a splash of white wine vinegar. Finely chop two tablespoons of fresh ginger. Add a teaspoons or two of olive oil to the warm skillet and 1-2 cups of cooked black rice and crisp up with the ginger. When the desired texture has been reached, combine the rice and ginger with the brussels sprouts.
Add ¼ cup (or more) of chopped fresh walnuts and ½ of a finely sliced red onion and toss with the brussels sprouts mixture to combine. Salt to taste. For an optional finish, you could try either a drizzle of 2 tsp of sesame oil or a sprinkle some crumbled feta cheese, if desired.