As mentioned last week, I made a brussels sprout grilled cheese for dinner to accompany E’s homemade pumpkin spice soup. Brussels sprouts sauteed in sage butter sounded like a perfect compliment to the pumpkin—to me at least.
When I suggested using the greens to my picky boyfriend, he turned up his lip in disgust. I waved one of the cooked, buttery sprouts under his nose, hoping he’d take just a bite, just a little itty bite for little ol’ me…c’mon sweetiekins…
“I will throw that at you if you don’t get it out of here,” E said.
Is he for real? Could he not envision the culinary magic I was about to make with charred brussels sprouts with melted, gooey fontina cheese on crusty wheat bread? I browned my sprouts, getting them nice and basted in that sage-y butter, cut them up and shoveled the greens onto fresh bakery wheat bread covered with planks of fontina. Then, I put the whole thing back into the same sage butter covered pan for a few minutes so the cheese would melt and toast the bread in the flavored butter. Spatula, scoop, cut, and done.
I loved every warm, crunchy, cheesy bite—it was so good, I made another one for myself over the weekend while I was kicking back watching a movie, this time adding a little onion and red chili flakes to the mix. This grilled cheese would also serve as a great holiday leftovers sandwich if you’ve made brussels sprouts as trimmings for your turkey.
But since E has reminded me several times of his hatred for brussels sprouts, sadly they won’t be trimming our Thanksgiving meal this year—or any other year.
4 slices crusty wheat bread
1 pound brussels sprouts
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 onion, sliced
4-5 slices fontina cheese
1 teaspoon black pepper
generous pinch kosher salt
generous pinch red chili flakes (optional)
Prep brussels sprouts: boil sprouts in water for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain. In a skillet over low medium heat, melt butter, then add onion. Cook until slightly brown, then add sage. After about 5 minutes, add sprouts, sprinkle on kosher salt and pepper (and red chili flakes if you’re feeling spicy), then sautee for another 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly charred. Remove from heat.
Chop brussels sprouts until shredded. Lay bread on workable surface. Then layer on cheese and heave on shredded sprouts. Sprinkle with more back pepper, top with more cheese, and top with another slice of bread. Brown in skillet (yes, the one coated in the sage butter. Trust me.) until cheese is melted and bread is browned, about 3 minutes each side. Remove from heat, slice in half, and serve. Makes two sandwiches.