Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Red Bell Pepper Marinara sauce
Named after Brussels, the capital of Belgium, Brussels sprouts became a popular crop there in sixteenth century. They were introduced to the US by the French settlers in Louisiana in the eighteenth century.
Brussels sprouts have many health benefits. They can help you protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, kidney, breast, bladder, and prostate. Brussels sprouts may also help you with heart health by maintaining a good blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol, and keeping a healthy blood sugar level. In addition, Brussels sprouts also contain carotenoids, colorful pigment which are good for your vision.
Brussel sprouts have a remarkable nutrition profile as well. While containing only 56 calories, one cup of cooked Brussel sprouts provide 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and almost 100% daily requirement for vitamin C.
30 to 35 Brussel sprouts
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of canned or fresh chopped tomatoes
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 large red bell pepper, first sliced thin and then cut into tiny pieces
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, oregano and parsley combined
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
First trim the Brussel sprouts by slicing off slivers at the pointy ends. Then, remove any outer leaves that are wrinkled or discolored. Next, boil 6 to 8 cups of water and boil the Brussel sprouts to blanch them briefly. Boil the sprouts only for 4 to 5 minutes and then drain completely. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the sprouts on the sheet with their cut sides up. Sprinkle or spray a light mist of oil all over the surface of sprouts and set the sheet aside.
Next, make the marinara sauce with red bell peppers. If using fresh tomatoes, boil them briefly until their skins start opening. Then drain them and cut into small pieces. (If using the canned chopped tomatoes, omit this step.)
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add the onions and red bell pepper. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and stir-fry the mixture for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and allow the sauce to simmer over a moderate heat for 15 to 25 minutes, stirring and breaking lumps. Cook the sauce until it becomes somewhat smooth and thick. You will not use all of this sauce for the recipe here, but the remainder can be refrigerated for a future use like pasta, soup, etc.
While the sauce is simmering, preheat the oven at 450. When the sauce is done, drizzle it onto the surface of Brussel sprouts. Place the sheet of sprouts in the oven and cook for 15 minutes till they become somewhat dry and roasted. Check to make sure they do not burn. Take them out and drizzle sprouts with small amount of oil before serving.