A Recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Scallions
For Gregory Gourdet, the executive chef and founder of Portland, Oregon’s Kann, the Thanksgiving table has always been a mix of inspirations. Born and raised in New York City by Haitian immigrant parents, Gourdet remembers big holiday dinners among the Haitian community in Queens, with staple foods like rice and beans, patties and sweet potatoes prepared with cinnamon, star anise and Haitian vanilla – alongside turkey, and baked lasagna or shells.
When it comes to making your own menu now, “I’m definitely the kind of person who doesn’t like to be super traditional all the time,” says Gourdet. He eventually convinced his family, for example, to let him cut the turkey into separate pieces, preparing the breast one way and the thighs another; preparations vary from year to year. “The image of the whole bird on the table isn’t as important to me as having a really delicious, juicy turkey,” he explains. This idea extends to everything on the table: it doesn’t have to be the typical Thanksgiving dishes, just delicious.
While his cuisine at Kann in Portland — which is in the lands of the Multnomah, Wasco, Cowlitz, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Bands of Chinook, Tualatin, Kalapuya, and Molalla tribes, among others — focuses on Haiti and the wider Caribbean, Gourdet draws on more global influences at home (plus a new personal focus that inspired her 2021 cookbook, Food for All: Global Recipes for Modern Health). He especially loves using kimchi, which offers a bold flavor with very little effort and not needing many other additions. This Thanksgiving, Gourdet is playing with the idea of cabbage on cabbage by roasting Brussels sprouts with kimchi, green onions and sesame oil. “On my Thanksgiving table,” he says, “you’ll definitely see dishes like Brussels sprouts with kimchi alongside sweet potatoes, you know?”
Roasting Brussels sprouts quickly over high heat is crucial for cooking sulfuric flavors that some people don’t like, Gourdet notes. It doesn’t take much else to make the dish delicious. “It really falls into place so quickly because you start with something already amazing: kimchi,” he says. It’s crucial on Thanksgiving when there may also be a bird and other sides to worry about. But it also makes the dish just as perfect for a weeknight, in which case Gourdet would pair it with rice and a protein for a complete, (almost) effortless meal.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Scallions
For 4 to 6 people
1 ½ pounds medium Brussels sprouts
1 jar (14 ounces) (about 2 cups) well-drained spicy cabbage kimchi, cut into about 2-inch pieces if needed
6 medium green onions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces, white halved lengthwise
½ cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
2nd step: Cut the bottom off the Brussels sprouts. If the outer leaves are wilted or yellowed, remove them and discard them. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise (or in quarters if they are more than an inch in diameter).
Step 3: Combine them in a large mixing bowl with the kimchi, green onions, avocado oil and salt, and mix well.
Step 4: Spread the mixture in a single layer on a large baking sheet and roast in the oven (no stirring necessary) until the Brussels sprouts are lightly charred around the edges and tender but not mushy, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 5: Drizzle with sesame oil, mix well and serve.
Gregory Gourdet is the chef and founder of Kann et Sousòl and the author of the James Beard Award-winning Food for All: Global Recipes for Modern Health.
Dina Avila is a photographer in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe tested by Ivy Manning