Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Brussel sprouts with Kale & Baby Beetroot leaves

So there I was peering into the fridge, with the idea that I should try and throw together something healthy and tasty with the fresh vegetables that were available.  I was surprised how well this little improvisation worked and will give it another go I reckon.  I suppose I should also preface the recipe by stating that enjoyment of this dish hinges on the diner liking brussel sprouts, which seem to be a food that fall into the love or loath category.  The Kale and the beetroot leaves really provide interest in flavour and texture, but you could always substitute for English spinach or another equivalent, dependent on what you can get your hands on.  My naughty admission here is that I used a supermarket prepacked mix of the two! 


12 brussel sprouts, quartered and slightly steamed
2 medium potato, cut to small pieces, steamed
200g mixed leaves (Kale & baby beet leaves)
2 garlic cloves
½ chilli
1 lemon

To a hot pan with a little olive oil add the finely diced garlic and chilli. After 1 min throw in the sprouts, toss and then add the potato, season with salt and pepper. A few minutes should allow these to colour a little. At this point throw in the leaves and allow to wilt, (rinse and shake off greens immediately prior to adding to the pan, the little water keeps things moist and aids cooking). I like to do this in two batches about 30 sec apart so there is a little variation in the degree of cooking of the greens for texture.  Wilting should only be for about a minute as a little crispness of texture is desirable.  Turn off the heat while wilting and toss into serving dish with a squeeze of lemon and dash of oil to finish.  Check for seasoning at this point.

*I'd make the steamed potato/brussel sprouts underdone, as they will cook further in the pan. 

*Also, the chilli usage is entirely up to cook and diner, based on what else your eating and how much heat you like.  The chilli I used wasn't very hot.  My intention was to lift and enhance the flavour, rather than generate much heat.  

This would make an excellent side dish, however I ate it alone as it is quite substantial.  So there you have it, a tasty take on brussel sprouts and you never know, it might even convert some non believers!

2006 Louee Cabernet Franc

Tasted June 2011, the wine comes from the Rylstone sub region, which is just outside Mudgee NSW. 

An interesting wine, Brick to Ruby red in colour which is followed up by a very complex and lovely bouquet. Initially you could be forgiven for identifying this as a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cedar, cigar box and mint mingle with a some green vegetal characters. There is however also a softer side of fruit, spice and rose petal coming through, perhaps indicative of the variety.  The palate has lovely fruit sweetness of cassis, cherry and blueberry. This is balanced by some lovely darker savoury notes of leather, earth, oak and mocha. The tannins are gentle and fine, but draw the wine to a sculpted finish in the mouth.

The loveliness of the wine comes, I think, from the firmer characteristics (think of my Cab Sauv comparison) being tempered to an extent by the softer fruit and brighter aromatics of Cabernet Franc. Terroir, I'm sure also plays it's part in the generous character of this wine.

Really good stuff, 91.