I don’t consider myself a tea person.
I drink tea. Especially the fun spiced flavors and holiday blends, but coffee holds a special place in my heart (and my central nervous system).
Despite my beverage choices, I am completely infatuated with the culture of tea. How it’s grown, traditions of consuming it, and varieties around the world. The interest is so strong that I find myself wishing I was a true tea person.
If you are a tea person, you should know there is a special aura about you. A relaxing, take it slow kind of aura. It’s the opposite of my give-me-all-the-coffee-so-I-can-do-all-the-things lifestyle. I’m envious of it.
But guess what? I’ve recently discovered that I don’t have to be a tea drinker to be a tea person. There are other ways, and I owe it to my friend Annelies for showing them to me.
I’m talking about cooking with it.
Annelies Zijderveld’s book, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, published a little while back. What you should know about Annelies is that she encompasses that tea-person aura I mentioned above. She’s a true pleasure to be around.
I knew about her book, but it wasn’t until we started connecting at recent food events and talking cookbooks that I finally got my hands on a copy. As I flipped through the pages, I was amazed at what I can do with tea in my cooking and baking. It is filled with innovative ideas!
We aren’t simply speaking of matcha cookies here (although there are some lovely recipes incorporating matcha). She uses English breakfast tea in spring roll dipping sauces, green tea for soup stock, AND Jasmine tea leaves with Brussels sprouts.
I had to chuckle at her description of these Orange-Jasmine Brussels Sprouts. She mentions how she didn’t like sprouts as a child, but grew fond of them in adulthood. I think this might be the sentiment of most people who love good food in our age group. The only Brussels sprouts my parents knew when I was growing up were the frozen variety, that despite every effort, cooked to mush. Fresh Brussels sprouts simply weren’t around much in Southern Indiana.
The second I had them fresh and roasted, though, I was an instant fan. We eat them all the time and I’m constantly looking for new ways to cook them. So I knew I had to try them dusted with jasmine tea leaves and touched with the flavors of citrus and sriracha.
These are going to be perfect for the Thanksgiving table, and this book is one you will want to get for all the tea-people in your lives for the holidays. But keep in mind, I’m not a tea person and I love it, so grab a copy for your coffee-loving, home-cooking friends, too.
Orange-Jasmine Brussels Sprouts
Recipe reprinted with permission from Steeped by Annelies Zijderveld, published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015
From the author: Like most children, I didn’t care for Brussels sprouts. Like most adults, I circled back and reconsidered my position. Thes Orange-Jasmine Brussels Sprouts drive away the blues when spring seems on furlough.
Makes 2 to 4 servings
14 Brussels sprouts, rinsed and chopped in half
1 teaspoon jasmine green tea powder (finely ground loose leaves or measured from a tea bag)
1/4 teaspoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon safflower, grapeseed, or other neutral oil
1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Zest of 1 medium orange
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 13 by 9-inch sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the Brussels sprouts in a bowl. Mix the tea powder, Sriracha, honey, salt, pepper, oil, orange juice, and orange zest to make an orange-jasmine glaze. Pour the glaze over the sprouts and toss to coat. Scatter the sprouts on the pan in a single layer flat-side down. Coat with any remaining glaze. Roast for 20 to 22 minutes, until browned.