Adventures in mezze at DC food magician José Andrés’ Zaytinya unveiled yet another vegetarian-friendly Best Thing on the Menu (BTM): Crispy Brussels Afelia. We promise BTM loves meat, especially rare meat. But, these seductive sprouts can convert even the staunchest of sprout haters, thus landing it as Zaytinya’s BTM.
The crispy, creamy, tart and tangy brussels sprouts can be found in the Hortariki (خضراوات) section of the menu, also known as Vegetable Mezze. They’re described as “brussels sprouts with coriander seed, barberries and garlic yogurt.” Barberries are most commonly used in Iranian cooking (where they are known as zereshk) and have been used medicinally for over 2,500 years, especially when related to the cardiovascular and neural systems.
Now back to the sprouts. Be sure to save some of Zaytinya’s warm, fluffy oblong-shaped pitas that arrive at the start of the meal to scrape up the garlic yogurt that lines the dish, or let loose and make sprouty sandwiches.
Zaytinya was one of the original restaurants to play into the hearts (and mouths) of small-plate-loving, variety-craving, dish-sharing Washingtonians. A trip to the innovative Turkish, Greek and Lebanese tapas temple is not to be missed. Nor is the BTM!
Crispy Brussels Afelia not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.