Arugula Pesto + Brussel Sprout Shreds

It’s like this, you’re either going to reckon this is the oddest food combo and not sure what to think about it (well a twinkie stuffed with meat would be pretty odd)

OR

you’re going to love it and go buy some brussels immediately (brussel haters might even try it!)

(I love how spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with the word twinkie. I think it’s cause it’s an unidentified object). Just sayin.

Anyhoo, I love me some brussel sprout heads and they’re the underdog during this time of the year, I mean you never hear somebody saying (unless you’re me of course) I can’t wait to shovel those brussel sprouts into my mouth. People don’t usually overeat them either. Well,  I’ve overeaten these little bad boys of health. Not pretty. Soooo, don’t do that.

I’ve always wanted to mess around with the sprouts beyond the usual roasting (p.s. roasting is good too, check out this post for a few options). Why not make a happy combo with my two favorite greens? I have been pondering (favorite big word) the thought of shredding the sprouts forever but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them from there.

So, enter a pile of goodness where veggies are the rockstars and the soba noodles are just the backup singers. (Never had Soba? The Kitchn did a good job describing the difference between the Japanese noodles). 

p.s. This recipe is so meant to be played with (like play-dough or silly puddy).

RECIPE

Arugula Pesto & Brussel Sprout Shreds

Serves: (depends on how many soba noodles you make-safely serves 2).

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Food processsor

Ingredients:

  • 6 or more garlic cloves (heck, the more the merrier)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle (1 oz.) uncooked soba noodles

For the sprouts:

  • 6 oz bag of whole, uncooked sprouts
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • pepper (optional)

DO IT:

Pre-Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Set aside.

    Love me some shreds!

  1. Place whole garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. At the same time place 1/2 cup of walnuts on another cookie sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes (nuts are not to be neglected, watch em so they don’t burn!).
  2. Remove both from oven and set aside.

Brussel Sprouts: 

  1. Place on a cookie sheet (once shredded) or jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes to start. Toss halfway through. Add on another 5-10 minutes or so if they haven’t quite cooked. Once done, set aside. (I kept mine in the oven while making the pesto).

I just love this pic of the soba noodles.

For the Noodles:

While the brussels are roastin, place 6 cups of water on the stove and heat on high til it’s boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain.

For the Pesto: (which can be made in advance).

  1. Add walnuts, arugula, garlic and salt to food processor and whirl it all up til a nice pesto-ey pile forms. As processor is processing, add olive oil.
  2. Scrape the sides and bunch it all up in a bowl, then add parmesan cheese and mix to combine. (take a whiff of the utter goodness).

For the finale:

Plate some noodles on something pretty, add some pesto and twirl with a fork to combine, (alternatively you can just add the pesto and soba noodles in a bowl and combine all like one big happy family) then toss some brussels on top and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese (truffle oil anyone? just a smidge-omg).

ENJOY!

-Jen

Genius Thoughts (I can’t stop myself):

  • Use that pesto as a pizza topper (do I even need to tell you to add it to the squash pizza?)
  • Use the pesto as a veggie dip.
  • Use the brussels as a side dish (p.s. they’re fun to eat-but you might find some in your hair later). I might even toss some maple syrup on them next time if I serve alone.
  • Try other nuts. Pine Nuts are a traditional pesto maker, almonds or papitas would be fun! Mix your greens and try spinach, maybe a little fresh basil or cilantro (just watch the bitterness factor).

Also, don’t forget to subscribe for FREE updates if you like what you see here (top right corner), connect with me on facebook and twitter! I noticed some new lovely people following me on pinterest. It’s quite the addiction now isn’t it?

TELL ME

Are you a fan of pesto? Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? What’s your favorite way to use either? 

Wonton Pillows (Three Ways)

Apple Pie Wonton!

Have you ever wondered what to do with wonton wrappers?

I swear I’ve picked up the little package of wontons so many times only to put them back on the shelf cause I had not a CLUE what to do with them!

Today, ENTER Jen’s APPLE PIE  and then some…WONTONS!

They remind me of the FRIED and oh so crispy, gooey Apple PIE from MCDONALDS! Do they still make them? So not good for the gut.

Anyway. Why the wontons rock?

  1. First, Cause they’re MINI ( I love anything MINI!)
  2. Second, cause I think they’re a tad bit healthier then those pies at Mickey D’s, but maybe not.
  3. Easy as PIE to make (no pun intended).

I was so excited about these little delights it reminded me of a time my grandparents took my brother and I to Friendly’s for ice cream…

  • I jumped up and down several times with the cone in hand…
  • The ice cream was catapulted off the cone and flung onto the pavement…
  • Then I wasn’t happy…
  • But I got another cone…
  • Happy once more!

So,

I had some of the booze infused cranberry/pom/apple compote left and just about a thousand wonton wrappers that I’ve been pondering over…

Spinach and cheese? Pureed sweet potatoes? Cranberries? YES!!!

The Fillings

RECIPE

NOTE PREPARE FILLINGS FIRST-See Below

Serves:

Like a thousand…(I kid you not, go for it if you open that package-maybe use half for another recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Ginger Spiked Cranberry Compote, Coconut Sweet Potato Mash (See Below) OR Greek style Spinach & Feta (See Below)
  • 1 package, Wonton Wrappers (I used Nasoya Brand)
  • Cinnamon/Sugar for dusting
  • Butter (if frying), Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil (your choice)
  • Egg whites (used as a wash and the moisten and seal the wontons)

Directions:

FRYING

(Honestly, FRY THEM! even in the tiniest bit of oil or butter-the baked version offers an alternative, but come on)

Time: 10-15 minutes for FILLING prep

4-6 minutes for frying

  1. Grab a wrapper (wait, don’t grab, they’re really flimsy and soft) PLACE a bunch of wrappers on a flat surface. Brush the sides (edges) with egg whites, egg + water, OR olive oil. Moisten. I used olive oil in this case, for no particular reason.
  2. Place a tiny bit of filling in the middle of the wrapper (1 teaspoon). If the wrapper looks like it’s overstuffed and going to explode, it probably is. If it appears lonely add a bit more, it’s okay it you screw one or two up. Food is meant to be played with. I tossed at least five in the trash.
  3. Fold over in a diagonal manner one corner to the next and press gently to seal.  I like to make it look like I slaved all day and press down with a fork for those little ridges.
  4. Heat a fry pan over medium heat, melt some butter, olive oil, or coconut oil (about 1-2 teaspoons).
  5. Place a boat load of wontons in the pan so they all get along merrily.  Nobody likes a pusher.
  6. Let em cook. Fry a little. A few minutes is all one needs. Flip them at least once so you have that golden brown color.  Don’t burn them!
  7. Remove from heat, cook a second batch if you must, cause you truly have about a thousand wontons. Leave the cooked ones on a paper towel, covered.
  8. Serve with a dusting of cinnamon/sugar. For a party or gathering I would insert a really cute toothpick!

Folded over and pressed...

BAKING

Preheat oven 375 degrees.

Time: ~10-15 minutes

1. Lay individual wonton wrappers out on a flat surface, using your finger or pastry brush gently brush and moisten each edge.

2. Place about one teaspoon of the filling in center of wonton. If it looks like it’s gonna burst, you probably overfilled! Be nice, they are delicate.

3. Fold diagonally in half pressing edges together to form a triangle.  If you’d like to get fancy, use a fork and make ridges along the edge.

4. Place wontons on cookie sheet and bake for 4 minutes.

5. Pull out and flip over. Bake for an additional 4 minutes  or until edges are crispy and golden brown. Avoid burning them!

6. Dust with cinnamon and sugar (or a combo of both) and serve! Use your hands!

Pre-Prep:

PREPARE FILLING(s) and then follow BAKING OR FRYING METHOD!

VERSION 1: Gingerly Spiked Cranberries (Apple, Pom) (CLICK for RECIPE)
VERSION 2: Coconut Milk Mashed Sweet Potatoes (CLICK for RECIPE)
VERSION 3: Sautéed Spinach with Garlic + crumbled Feta cheese (See Below)

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1-2 large handfuls fresh, pre-washed, baby spinach
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (1-2 Tablespoons, personal choice)

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized non-stick pan.  Add 1 clove chopped garlic.

2. Cook garlic for about a minute or two, brown slightly.

3. Add 1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach (pre-washed, baby spinach).  Saute until wilted, about 4-5 minutes.

4. Remove from pan and place in a small bowl.  Add crumbled feta cheese (personal choice here, I added 2 Tablespoons.

Baked Wontons...!!!

Chefs Tips/Suggestions:

Dinner Option for WONTONS! Boil the wontons (once stuffed and sealed) for a few minutes, they make a great main dish and an alternative to the ridiculously long process of making ravioli from scratch (who has time for that?!). I would like to try a mushroom and cheese version! Prepare an easy sauce and Serve!

Other fillings:

  • Pumpkin pie
  • Butternut Squash puree
  • Sauteed Mushroom, onion and cheese
  • Fatty McFatPants: Nutella and Banana (I love that stuff)

SERVE UP AND ENJOY!

HAVE YOU USED WONTON WRAPPERS? IF SO, HOW?

Do you have a different method? DO SHARE!

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