Autumn is here, I’d like to think. The morning temperatures are just below 30C which feels almost fresh after several months of 35+C. However, during the day my autumnal feeling still dwindle a bit with temperatures around 40C around lunchtime. That’s not fresh. It’s plain hot.
Never mind the temperatures, Dubai seems to have awoken from its lazy summer slumber. Kids are back in school, kids’ birthday parties are lined up until November. My running season has just started and several races have been lined up until April next year. My training for the Dubai marathon will start just after Halloween.
Before Halloween, I have to organize my son’s birthday party. He will be seven. He wants a sports party. I was thinking of doing athletics with them: sprint runs, long jump (into a sandpit), high jump (over a broom stick), relay runs, ball throwing, etc. Accompanying parents can be marshals and referees. All kids get a bib number upon arrival. After the competition, everyone gets a medal and a certificate with their personal results in each discipline. No direct winners, or losers. Everyone to their abilities and capabilities. Can’t wait to chase them all around.
With all this busy-ness, one mustn’t forget to eat properly. Instead of raw salads, I start craving warm foods. Still nothing too heavy. These days, my go-to meal is a big bowl of cooked vegetables with some sauce or dressing, sprinkled with roasted nuts or seeds. But warm it must be.
One autumnal vegetable, pumpkin, has already become a regular ingredient in those huge batches of roasted vegetables that I cook (and eat) several times per week.
But I was happy to pick up some Brussels sprouts the other day. Ever since I was pregnant with my second child (during that pregnancy I was craving green leafy vegetables – I am sure I have told you several times before – sorry), I am in love with Brussels sprouts. I acknowledge the fact that many people (and especially children) don’t like the slightly bitter taste. The nutritional value of Brussels sprouts, however, are tremendous: anti-inflammatory, full antioxidants, good for the digestive tract, and provides great cancer protection. That’s reason enough to try and come up with a dish, that may convert a Brussels sprouts hater.
Bouncing off the taste of the Brussels sprouts with something totally different, is the way to go. I decided to go with dried cherries, something tart and sweet to compete with the bitterness of the Brussels sprouts. Initially, I even had a tahini dressing with it. But then I decided that all it needs is a good splash of good olive oil and some dried fruit. I can’t help myself but sprinkle tasted nuts or seeds on everything. So here we go: Brussels sprouts with dried cherries and toasted almonds. I’d eat a big bowl of this at any day for lunch.
Preheat oven to 220C.
Spread Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Turn them over once for even roasting.
Meanwhile, roast the almonds in a dry pan over medium low heat for a few minutes. Shake the pan regularly to provide even roasting. Let cool a little. Then chop roughly.
If the dried cherries are very dry, soak them in warm water for a few minutes. Drain.
Mix dried cherries into the roasted Brussels sprouts. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with roasted almonds. Sprinkle with more olive oil if desired. Serve immediately.