Pickled Mustard Seeds

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Can you believe this is my 300th post? Neither can I! Thanks to everyone for reading this far! Now, on to the project post!

I originally made these as part of a recipe for those delectable uni bocadillos, but they also make a great condiment on their own, so I thought I’d post about them separately. For any mustard newbies, you most often find mustard seeds as part of whole-grain mustard, and their unique texture adds to the mustard experience. It’s hard to describe– once they absorb liquid, they transform from a dry, crunchy seed to something a little soft, with a nice little “pop” when you crunch them between your teeth.

Anyway, in addition to having them mixed into whole-grain mustard, you can also pickle them on your own to make a seed-only condiment for extra pop! I used yellow mustard seeds for this application, though you can also use brown if that’s all you can find.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts

brussels-hazelnutsI’ll admit right now that I shamelessly stole the idea for this dish from a local restaurant’s seasonal sandwich, which combined sprouts, mustard, and hazelnuts in such a delicious way that I was inspired to make my own (non-vegetarian) version.

This side dish practically screams fall, and is hearty enough to use as a main dish for a light meal. The sprouts get almost sweet while roasting, while the hazelnuts add earthiness and crunch, the bacon adds salt and fat, and the mustard sauce is sharp and creamy at the same time. The flavors just blend together so well that I can’t believe I’d never heard of the combination before.

I can’t really put down quantities here, since I basically just threw things together until they looked about right. This is the kind of dish that will always be made “according to taste.” So here’s how:

Ingredients:

Brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Bacon

Mustard

Mayonnaise

Hazelnuts

1. Take a bunch of brussels sprouts and cut off the stems and outer leaves. If they’re particularly large, cut them in half.

2. Toss the sprouts in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender with crispy brown bits.

3. In the meantime, cut up several slices of bacon and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon bits to drain, dump out most of the grease, and toss a small handful of chopped hazelnuts into the pan. Toast them in the bacon grease for a few minutes, until they start to smell nutty.

4. Mix up some sharp mustard and some mayonnaise in a small bowl in about a 1:1 ratio.

5. Toss the sprouts, bacon, hazelnuts, and mustard sauce together and serve hot.

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