I'm so proud to be a part of the family at RUE Magazine and the holiday issue KILLS it - it's so over the top beautiful. My girl Marissa's recipes in this issue are so, so, delicious - I know, because after I recreated them for the shoot, we ate with abandon. And I have to tell you, I've never eaten a brussel sprout in my entire life, my mother never liked them so we never were put through that form of torture. But oh these - oh these brussel sprouts are heaven. And the cocktail - oh my goodness! So here we go...
POMEGRANATE HOLIDAY STAR
(Makes 2 cocktails)
3 ounces vodka
1 ounce Lillet blanc
2 ounces pomegranate syrup* (recipe follows)
2 ounces fresh lemon juice
3 drops of Angostura or old-fashioned bitters
Champagne or prosecco float
Garnish with a sage leaf and 4-5 pomegranate seeds
In a small saucepan, add ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water. Simmer gently until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. In a blender, blend the seeds from ¾ of a pomegranate with the simple syrup. Strain syrup in a bowl and discard any pith from the seeds. Transfer syrup to a bottle for pouring.
BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD WITH FRESH GRAPES, TOASTED HAZELNUTS, PECORINO ROMANO AND POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE
2 lbs Brussels sprouts (1/3 of them to be quartered and roasted with a tablespoon of olive oil; 1/3 – ends cut off, remove whole leaves, blanch leaves for 10 seconds, set in ice bath, dry and allow to cool; 1/3 to be cleaned and sliced raw super thin– or shaved with a mandolin)
1 small bunch red grapes, halved
¼ - 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skin removed and lightly crushed/chopped
½ cup fresh grated pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
extra drizzle of pomegranate molasses and shaved pecorino Romano for serving
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
Place roasted Brussel sprouts on bottom of serving dish, toss remaining ingredients and most of dressing, top with shaved Romano and drizzle remaining dressing over the top before serving.
RISOTTO WITH MUSHROOMS, CIPPOLLINI ONIONS & ROASTED CHESTNUTS
½-3/4 pound chestnuts, finely chopped (about 1 cup after roasting and peeling) *see note below
5 1/2 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken, beef or vegetable stock/broth (*the beef stock will give it a richer, deeper flavor or for a vegetarian dish, use vegetable stock)
3 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cippollini onions, thinly sliced
4 cups mixed mushrooms (such as cremini and chanterelle), roughly chopped
4 or 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt to taste
a good dose of freshly grated black pepper
2 to 3 knobs of unsalted butter
5 to 6 ounces of grated Parmesan or grana padano cheese, plus more for serving
Preheat oven to 400F. Using a sharp knife, make a large ‘X’ on one side of the chestnuts so skin will be easy to remove after roasting. Roast for 20 minutes. Set in a bowl with towel covering chestnuts to keep them warm. Work with nuts in small batches to remove the shells. Chop chestnuts and set aside.
In a small saucepan, add stock/broth and keep warm over low heat.
In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onions over medium heat until softened and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. While onions are sautéing, add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet. Saute mushrooms, chestnuts and thyme until softened, 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
Add rice to the onions and saute 5 minutes until glossy. Add 1 cup of stock to rice and stir continuously until well-absorbed. Continue to add 1/2 cup of stock at a time, stirring until absorbed. Add in mushrooms-chestnut mix at the mid-way point, after 3 cups of stock have been added. After all stock and wine has been added, add salt, pepper, butter and half of the Parmesan or grana padano. Stir until well-blended and then add remaining grated cheese. Serve with additional cheese.
Text and recipes by Marissa Lippert; photos by me.