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Crispy Brussel Sprout & Sauteed Mushroom Risotto with Walnut Dust

Holy balls in Tahiti there’s been a lot of alcohol and sweets on the blog. And in my mouth.

Crispy Brussel Sprout & Mushroom Risotto Recipe - SheEats.ca

I suppose that’s all part and parcel of the holidays though, right? Too much sugar, too much booze, too much family.

…Maybe that’s why there IS so much sugar and so much booze. We need it just to get through the day!

I’m just kidding of course. I love my family. And they love me. In excess of twenty pounds or not.

Fresh Walnuts - Crispy Brussel Sprout & Mushroom Risotto Recipe - SheEats.ca

I guess I’m not all that much different from anybody else come this time of year. Despite the fact that I like to think I’m a special flower. I indulge a bit too much this way or that and promise myself that once it’s all over, it’s clean eating and drinking all around. The fact that when it’s all over happens to be month of January – the new year – has no bearing on how I view fitness or health or wellness. I talked about this last December. I’m really not a resolutions kinda gal.

I figure, if you’re going to do something – like, seriously do something – you don’t need an arbitrary date to make a change. You simply make. the. change. You be the change bitches! Live intentionally and all that B.S.

You know what I mean?

Crispy Brussel Sprout & Mushroom Risotto Recipe - SheEats.ca

Last year I made 6 goals, rather than resolutions. Did I live up to them?

1. To source one ingredient, on a weekly basis, that is entirely seasonal, organic and local. If it’s meat or dairy, pastured or sustainably wild caught as well.

Check! Though that could be because I decided moving to Toronto was pretty much the worst decision ever and I hightailed it back to the West coast, started accessing farmer’s markets again, live around the corner from Granville Island and signed up for a weekly CSA. No matter; Best decision ever.

2. To blog about it (and podcast! stay tuned!). This includes finding it, preparing it, cooking it and ultimately….. eating it (the best part).

I often get asked how I come up with new recipes week after week. This is how I do it. I choose an ingredient that I can source locally in season and then I develop a recipe to highlight its best qualities. Either that or I have a surplus of something from the CSA and I need to get rid of it before it starts growing fuzz and developing strange colours way in the back of the crisper.

If I try to come up with a recipe all willy-nilly by just being “inspired” by the market, I’ll get overwhelmed and just end up eating bread. Lots of it.

The podcast started out great – one episode a week for a whopping 9 weeks. And then I realized I can’t run my business, maintain my food blog, brainstorm restaurant ideas, see my friends and family more often than once per millennia AND plan, record, edit, and publish a podcast all at the same time. So we’re between seasons right now but I hope to bring it back when I have like, 5 minutes.

3. To breathe more. I’ve literally scheduled this into my iCal so I can literally make space to breathe and be still. I don’t do that enough these days.

Yes and no. I’m conscious of my lack of breath and I try to make the time but I haven’t been as successful with this as I’d hoped. I’m saying “No” a lot more though to potential opportunities for awesomeness so I have time to breathe. Obviously not enough though.

4. Canning. More canning. And preserving. This way I can pick up a crap ton of whatever I find and have reserves of it on hand for when I need it in the future, saving me the dreaded 7 hour trip across town.

I sure as holy heck did! Until I moved back to the coast, started canning copious amounts of blueberry butter and bourbon soaked cherries and then found out: You aren’t supposed to can on a ceramic/glass stove top. Fuck. That put an end to that in about 30 seconds (actually, I finished off my round of cherries before I turned the stove off so it put an end to it in about an hour and a half).

Next Spring I’m getting a fancy pants outdoor induction burner thanks to the sage advice from my good friends Stacy and Marisa.

5. ….I feel like I should have a fifth one to round everything out nicely but I can’t think of one! At least nothing food related. Can I make a goal to make Joseph Gordon Levitt my boyfriend? Is that too creepy?

He’s totally my boyfriend.

Okay, he’s not. Damn it.

But I DID heed the advice of Kirsten and added a fifth selection to my list: Spend a bit of time thinking about and planning for the coming week (do this each Monday morning! With lists Meghan!) Or visit the library and find a new book to read (no library but I’ve read a ton this year). Or hug kittens or puppies (always.). Or try a new cocktail. Uh, hello. Have you seen my blog the past 6 months?

Vintage Spoons - Crispy Brussel Sprout & Mushroom Risotto Recipe - SheEats.ca

Okay. So I did fairly well, all things considered. And now I’m thinking about this year. Starting with the healthy living crap and all that.

Which is why today is a savory recipe. Crispy Brussel Sprout & Sauteed Mushroom Risotto.

Crispy Brussel Sprout & Mushroom Risotto Recipe - SheEats.ca

Warning: This isn’t “healthy” in the sense that it’s gluten-free or dairy-free or … Hang on.

It IS gluten free!? WTF? I just Googled it and arborio rice is in fact, gluten free. Mama WHAT! Okay so that just amped up the healthy! Woot! And the dairy is minimal. There’s also a butt load of fresh, seasonal veggies in there and homemade chicken stock (you can sub decent pastured chicken stock from the store if you must) which fights off colds and flus and the clap.

So while you’re inhaling way too many Cinnamon Sweet Potato Cookies or Cranberry Double Chocolate Chip Cookies and drinking way too many Apple Whiskey Sours or Gin and Tonics, remember: Eat your vegetables, too. Because they’re healthy and nobody wants Gonorrhea.

Crispy Brussel Sprout & Sauteed Mushroom Risotto with Walnut Dust




Yield 4 servings


  • 1/2 Lb Shiitake Mushrooms, wiped with a clean towel & roughly chopped.
  • 1/2 Lb Oyster Mushrooms, wiped with a clean towel, stems removed & rougly chopped.
  • 1/2 Lb Brown Button Mushrooms, wiped with a clean towel & roughly chopped.
  • 1 Package of Enoki Mushrooms (optional), bottoms lopped off.
  • 2 C Brussel Sprouts, cleaned, icky outside parts discarded and cut in half.
  • 2 Shallots, thinly sliced.
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced.
  • 2 Tbsp Butter, unsalted.
  • A Couple Sprigs Fresh Rosemary or Thyme.
  • 1 C Walnut Halves or skinned Hazelnuts.
  • 1.5 Cups Arborio Rice.
  • 3/4 Cup Dry White Wine.
  • 5-6 Cups Chicken or Veggie Stock, heated.
  • 1 Cup Asiago Cheese, grated.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. On a medium heat, drizzle a glug or two of olive oil into a large, deep frying pan. Once hot and shimmering but not smoking, toss in the prepared brussel sprouts. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and stir well. Cook brussel sprouts until crispy, golden on the outside and fork tender on the inside. Approx 15 - 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. As they cook, toss the nuts onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden. You should be able to smell them when they're done, approx 12 - 15 minutes. Shake often to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once cool, chop roughly.
  4. Melt butter in the same pan and add shallots and garlic, stir well. Covering with lid and allow 5-10 mins to become translucent.
  5. Then stir in Shitake, Oyster and Button mushrooms and Rosemary. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushroom/shallot mixture has got some decent colour on it. Remove whatever is left of the rosemary sprigs.
  6. Add rice, stirring constantly until grains become transluscent on the outside, approximately 2 mins.
  7. Add wine, allowing for absorption by the rice and evaporation of the alcohol.
  8. Next, ladle in enough stock to just cover the rice mixture and let simmer, stirring fairly regularly to avoid burning and encourage creaminess. Continue adding further ladles of stock as it gets absorbed, again only as much as is needed to cover the rice.
  9. This will continue for roughly 30 mins, or until rice mixture is creamy and has reached the desired texture. You want it to be soft but still hold it's shape and not be mushy.
  10. Remove from heat and toss in the cooked mushrooms and brussel sprouts. Fold cheese into the finished dish and stir well. Taste, add more salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with a few Enoki mushrooms and toasted nuts.



There is a bit of prep for this with respect to the mushrooms and brussel sprouts but once that's finished, it makes it very easy for the risotto to come together. Don't be put off by the love and time this takes - enjoy being around veggies for a change!If you really want to amp up this bad boy - and I know a lot of people are gonna turn up their noses at me now - drizzle the finished dish with a bit of white truffle oil.


Do you make New Years resolutions or goals? How have you lived up to yours this year? What are you inhaling right now? Are you getting veggies? What about STIs? TMI? Yep. What are you loving right now? Really not enjoying? Tell me about your life – spill it!

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  • Michael
    December 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    As a family member of yours…whom you love and could never get enough of this holiday season, I am insisting that at some point you make this for me. It looks incredible! It sounds like it would be a smooth blast of flavor.

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      I might consider it.

      ps. …..a smooth blast of flavour?

  • debby
    December 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    since you’re here over Christmas, perhaps I may get to eat some of this. MMMM

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 20, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      hm. maybe. it sounds like you and Michael need to eat more veggies anyhow.

  • La Cuisine d'Helene
    December 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    I dream of moving back to Vancouver Island. Loved it when we had fresh produce that tasted amazing in January. I also miss looking mountains thru my kitchen window. We came back to Ottawa to be close to my two oldest but let me tell you that I love BC. Maybe someday we will be back. Enjoy every moment of being there!
    La Cuisine d’Helene recently published…Sweet and Salty Bark & Chocolate Cookie Bark – #WhatsCookingMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 21, 2014 at 6:50 AM

      Oh Helene. I know what you mean. Two years without fresh produce in January was too much for me. I want to say to you “DO IT!! LIFE IS TO SHORT” (okay, I yelled that shit) but really, I know life is much more complicated than that. Any time you come to town of course, we can walk down to Kits beach and ogle the mountains and have a glass of vino and breath the fresh ocean air 🙂 And eat veggies.

  • Kirsten
    December 20, 2014 at 5:13 PM

    Wtf I give advice? When did that happen? I totally don’t give advice. Hell, I don’t even dust.
    Planning ahead? Are you kidding me? I admit, we got the last farm share of the year on Thursday, and I will give some thought to how to use the fresh stuff (and how to use the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve while I’m serving 12 hungry folks over the holidays) but planning ahead? Me?

    Now, on the blog side of things, I’m already kicking around ideas for next December and did manage to write up headnotes for several Thanksgiving recipes, so there is that . . . but although I have a vague idea of what I want to post on Monday (2 days hence) I’m not sure I’ll have time to sit down and create it with the family here and all.

    So don’t listen to my advice. Unless it’s working for you. Then I will totally take all credit.

    This has nothing to do with brussels sprouts but I’m recalling that somewhere in my fridge is a bag of brussels sprouts which may not be fuzzy–and if so, I’m totally making a dish using them for Christmas Eve, Christmas Night, or the 12/26 US Thanksgivingpalooza that we’ll be having with my Danish brother and his family.

    Thanks, Kristy–Happy Christmas!
    Kirsten recently published…My Mother’s Lefse #ChristmasWeekMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 21, 2014 at 6:53 AM

      hahahahahahahahaha. I adore you.

      PS. Your advice has been some of the best I’ve received this year woman! And so yes, take credit.

      PPS. It sounds like you’re surrounded by family and love right now. I’m so happy to hear it Kirsten. And that you’re planning two days in advance. Whether it gets done or not is irrelevant – it’s the thought that counts, right? 😉

  • Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie)
    December 20, 2014 at 5:46 PM

    I stay as far away from resolutions as possible… too much pressure and they always end up feeling abandoned. The resolutions, that is. I am loath to hurt anything or anyone, including resolutions. I just am grateful to wake up everyday and be able to put one foot in front of the other! And I LOVE brussel sprouts:)
    Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) recently published…The break-up… Where’s The Justice?My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 21, 2014 at 6:55 AM

      YEAH they do Jacqueline! Let’s make world peace – or at least a truce between ourselves and resolutions – an actual thing this year, yes?

  • Michelle
    December 20, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Now this is a dish I can totally get behind 🙂 I love risottos… they come together in less than half hour and are the perfect easy complete meals. And I love that you’ve used brussels sprouts… I think they get a bad rep, but we all love them in our home.

    My resolution? Yep, same as yours… breathe more. Smile more… I haven’t been smiling as much as I should be and I can feel it in my chest. And make tons of recipes from your site 😉 OK, maybe the cocktails. I like cocktails 🙂
    Michelle recently published…Crostini with Turkey, Brie and Spicy-Sweet Date ChutneyMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      December 21, 2014 at 6:56 AM

      I’m pretty much convinced that brussel sprouts – like cabbage – is the unappreciated vegetable of our time. Maybe once they’re gone people will value them for what they truly are.

      …Nah, let’s be honest. Cabbages live FOREVER in the crisper – there’s no escaping them.

      PS. I hear you my friend. Smiles and loves all around. Cocktails do help 😉

  • Becky
    December 21, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    I don’t do new years resolutions. The last one I did was the year I turned 30, where I vowed to quit smoking before the actual birthday. It was successful, so I decided to go out on that high note.

    Brussels sprouts are a staple of this house. One of my favorite farmers down at the market was giddy to discover exactly how many of those suckers he can hand off to me this season.

    Starting the end of October with my birthday, it’s full on dessert/sweets/junkfood season until everyone else’s birthdays the end of January. I had to declare an entire week in November “dessert free” which really pissed off certain members of my family. (I caved and ended up making two apple pies anyway because, well, pie.). I’ve done okay so far this December, but that changes as of today. We are about to get all chrismtasy up in here. Thank goodness I laid in a huge stash of brussels sprouts. I suggested switching our Christmas morning breakfast up to something less sugary and it was quickly shot down. We are about to be all sugar, all the time until some time in January.
    Becky recently published…A walk in a country field.My Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 6, 2015 at 4:00 PM

      Atta girl!! No more smoking!!!! 🙂 So proud of you!

      Also, I’m now off the sugar too. My birthday is also in October so the treats start lining up then. We’re October birthday buddies! I say you come bake me a pie then too. Because, well… Pie 😉

      PS. I’m sorry it took me a year to reply to your comment. I suck. But I’ll be better. I promise.

  • Renee Kohley
    December 22, 2014 at 6:01 AM

    I adore crispy brussels sprouts!!! This looks great <3
    Renee Kohley recently published…Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Baked OatmealMy Profile

    • Kristy Gardner
      January 6, 2015 at 3:58 PM

      Thank you so much Renee! Man alive I’m late replying to this comment. It’s great to see you!!