Double-cooked Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans

by Andrea on December 22, 2011

in GAPS,Recipes

I made this simple dish for a potluck last week and it was a big hit, so instead of describing it to each person who asked, I thought, well… I’ll just publish it in the blog!!

Double-cooked Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Servings: 4 to 6

* 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut in 1 1/2 inch-long pieces
* 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, bottoms trimmed and cut in half
* 2 slices of high-quality, nitrate-free, thick-sliced, or 4 of thin-sliced bacon, cut in bite-size pieces (this one and this one are GAPS-friendly).
* Lard, or another healthful animal fat to saute.
* Salt and pepper to taste

1. Blanch the veggies: bring sufficient water to a boil in a big pot. Add enough salt, so that the water is salty. Cook veggies in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and immediately put the veggies in ice-cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. Strain again, once completely cooled off.

*I always blanch vegetables separately because each vegetable takes a different time to cook. In this case, because they are both green vegetables, I recycled the water I used for the green beans to blanch the Brussels sprouts. Sometimes, I blanch veggies a little over the “all-dente” point, so that they can develop some sweetness. I think this is a good practice for people with a low digestive fire, including those following the GAPS protocol.

2. In a big skillet, fry the bacon pieces over medium heat to render the bacon fat. Using a slotted spoon, take the bacon pieces out, once they are done to your liking.

3. Add green beans and Brussels sprouts to skillet and mix until all the veggies are thoroughly covered with fat. Add more lard, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper and warm thoroughly. Add the bacon pieces back. Mix and serve hot.

* You could use sausage or chorizo, cut in small pieces, if you can’t find good quality bacon. Just make sure to add enough fat to saute.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Marija 12.22.11 at 3:36 pm

Thanks for posting this Andrea! This was truly delicious. I think I’m going to make this for Christmas dinner.


2 Marija 12.22.11 at 3:42 pm

Andrea, do you use the cooking water for other things later, such as adding to a soup? I have always avoided blanching or boiling veggies because I was told long ago that many vitamins leave the vegetables and go into the water. Now, I’m questioning everything I’ve ever been told about cooking, but this does seem to make sense. Can you comment on this?


Andrea Reply:

This is a valid concern indeed, but a couple of things. First, the salt creates a protective layer. This is why it’s so important to salt the blanching water generously. The density of the water changes and helps the nutrients stay longer inside the vegetable. Of course, after a while they will start leaching anyway. I say in the blog post I let blanch sometimes beyond the “al dente” point, which is after the water has started changing color, indicating nutrient leaching. This is not necessary, but sometimes its desirable. You see… when your digestive system is under performing, you’re always striving for a balance between eating the most nutrient dense food you can and eating food that you can actually digest and assimilate, makes sense?
I don’t use blanching water for other uses, simply because its not that nutrient dense — this is A LOT of water for the nutrients it might contain, you know? It doesn’t compare to bone broth.
You could cook the veggies some other way — with less water, sort of boil/saute kind of thing, but the flavor is going to change, as will the color. Simple dishes with very few ingredients, like this one, are more about the technique than anything else, in order to get great results…


Marija Reply:

Thank you Andrea. This is really helpful.


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