Girls’ Nite In

Girl talks, giggles and good food with a splash of alcohol – now thats a perfect recipe for a great girls’ nite! No matter how busy we get, my girl friends and I make it a point to meet up regularly. It is our much needed time, away from all those day-to-day things, just to get together and catch up. Sometimes it does become a little difficult to get out and meet. However, instead of cancelling, we simply get together at one of our homes for a girls’ night in! The last time, it was at my place. We had a ball of a time, sipping our favorite wines, chatting, laughing and relishing my signature “brew-skeh-tehs” – Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas.

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

Bruschettas

As you might already know, bruschettas are Italian appetizers made with grilled bread as the base and various toppings. A rustic Italian bread is most commonly used to for the base. The bread slices are drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt before grilling. They get rubbed with garlic cloves after they come off the grill to enhance the flavor.

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

The classic bruschetta topping is without any bells and whistles – made with simple, fresh diced tomatoes, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. While the classic bruschetta is well-known and beloved, there are numerous variations and creative interpretations. Some variations you might have seen include fresh cheese toppings such as mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, mascarpone, etc. and cured meats like salami or prosciutto. You’ll also find sweet options with strawberries, honey or Nutella and seasonal adaptations including roasted butternut squash or figs. The possibilities are endless!

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

Additionally, bruschettas can be made with other kinds of bread, like sliced baguette, ciabatta, or whole-grain varieties. They can be grilled or toasted to give a crispy texture to the base that contrasts with the fresh toppings. With a wide range of delicious combinations, bruschettas are truly one of the most versatile appetizers and great crowd pleasers!

favorite gno food

Bruschettas are our all-time favorite ‘GNO’ (Girls’ Night Out) food! It all started a couple of years ago when we met at a local wine bar and bonded over their incredible bruschettas. We love the place and the menu so much that we plan special nights out just to go to the bar and munch on a bunch of bruschettas.

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

So for our night in, I decided to stick to our usual routine. My friends brought the wines, and I made our favorite finger food – quick, easy, and at the same time, totally stress-free for me. That way, I could relax and have fun too!

my inspiration for the bruschetta

My inspiration behind this bruschetta was the pasta dish by Foodnetwork Chef, Giada. I often whip it up for a wholesome meal in a crunch time. Brussels sprouts are truly the star of this pasta dish. I enjoy their simple and humble flavors, especially during fall and winter months, when they are in season.

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

Over time, I have created many variations of the original pasta recipe by switching onions with leeks and adding in zucchinis, asparagus, green peas, snow peas, or any other fresh veggies I might have sitting in the refrigerator. With all kinds of yummy variations, I often eat the sautéed Brussels sprouts mixture straight up as a warm salad, without tossing it in with the cooked pasta as per the original recipe. I also like to spoon it over grilled bread, turning it into a delicious bruschetta… yum!

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

While sautéing the Brussels sprouts for the pasta, I once decided to sprinkle some garam masala over the pan, instead of black pepper. To my surprise, it turned out really delicious! The garam masala added wonderful warmth and elevated the sautéed vegetables to a whole new level. So, for my bruschetta topping, I used the same trick and spiced the Brussels sprouts with garam masala. In addition, I also added leeks, sliced mushrooms, and snow peas into the mix, turning up the volume and making it a hearty and healthy topping to spoon over grilled whole grain bread.

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

Now, just like in the original pasta recipe, I smeared the crusty bread slices generously with crème fraiche. I love its smooth, creamy texture and a subtle tangy flavor. I think it elevates the slightly earthy and bitter flavor of the Brussels sprouts mixture and complements the warm notes of the garam masala spice.

Its a great appetizer to go with your favorite wine and is perfect for easy entertaining, especially during the holiday season. I strongly encourage you to give this bruschetta a try, even if you’re not fond of Brussels sprouts,. I’m confident, I’ll convert you into a fan!

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Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas

Indian-style Spiced Brussels Sprouts Bruschettas


  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x

Description

A vegetarian bruschetta recipe with grilled bread smeared with crème fraiche and topped with garam masala spiced Brussels sprouts.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil + as needed for grilling the bread
  • 1 leek, cleaned and cut in half along the length and thinly sliced (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 10 oz packet (about 1 1/2 cups) of shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 10 oz packet (about 1 1/2 cups) sliced mushrooms (Cremini or white buttom mushrooms), optional
  • 1/2 cup sliced snow or sugar snap peas, optional (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 810 asparagus stems, cut in 2-inch long pieces, optional
  • salt, as needed
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 45 sprigs of flat leaf parsley or cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
  • 6 slices of cracked wheat sourdough (see FAQs & Notes)
  • 4 oz (about 1/2 tub) of crème fraiche (see Variations)

Instructions

  • In a large skillet or a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shaved Brussels sprouts, garlic, leeks and any other veggies that you might be using. 
  • Season with salt and garam masala.
  • Add the water.
  • Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and have absorbed all the moisture, for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • In the meantime grill or toast bread slices (see FAQs & Notes). 
  • Take the Brussels sprouts mixture off the heat.
  • Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro and let it cool down for about 5 minutes.
  • While the mixture cools, smear the toasted bread with crème fraiche.
  • Spoon the Brussels sprouts mixture and serve immediately. (see FAQs & Notes)

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

No leeks?

If you can’t find leeks, you can substitute with about 1 cup of chopped green onions, spring onions, shallots or sweet white onions.

Can't find snow or sugar snap peas?

While the snow or sugar snap peas are optional in the recipe, if you wanted to use them but couldn’t find them, you can substitute with frozen or fresh green peas.

If using fresh, be sure to cook them in boiling water for 60 seconds. When they all rise to the top, they’re done. Drain immediately and set aside until ready to add them to the pan.

Can you use any other bread?

Absolutely! You can use ciabatta, baguette, sour batard, herb slab or any other bread that you like for this recipe!

Grill or Toast

Either works, as long as you can get the bread to be nice and crispy. Grilling will give beautiful grill marks but toasting will brown it evenly.

Does the topping have to be warm?

Not really! The bruschetta tastes great even when the topping has cooled down completely, to room temperature.

Recipe Variations

You can substitute crème fraiche with mascarpone or ricotta cheese. You can also use plain cream cheese or sour cream if you have it sitting in your refrigerator.

Happy cooking
Vasanti

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.



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