Book Review/Recipe Pairing: The Hidden Life of Trees

The Hidden Life of Treesby Peter Wohlleben and Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts and Lemon

Even though I don’t recall Wohlleben specifically discussing Walnut Trees in his 2016 bestseller, The Hidden Life of Trees, it is hard to find recipes related to beeches or poplars.  So I took some liberty in researching this week’s recipe pairing, finally resting on the Walnut Tree for inspiration.  A deciduous tree, frequently used for furniture and carving due to its hardness, beautiful grain and rich color, it also produces the beloved walnut.  Walnuts can be used in a variety of ways in your kitchen: as a focal point in baked goods, roasted as a topping for your salad, or to enhance your favorite pesto or stuffing recipe.  I decided to add it to one of my favorite side dishes, to add a warm, nutty flavor: Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts and Lemon.

I hated Brussel Sprouts as a kid.  They smelled like ….. well, they just smelled.  It wasn’t until recently that someone served me some exquisitely roasted Brussel Sprouts.  Where have you been all my life, you luscious little cabbages?  Now I scour cookbooks for new Brussel Sprout recipes.  So when I came across this version that is sprinkled with walnuts and lemon, well it seemed like the perfect pairing for this weeks book review.  Lightly carmelized on the outside and tender on the inside, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts & Lemon


  • 2 1/4 pounds Brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 TB unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Toss Brussel sprouts, oil, water, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in large bowl until sprouts are coated.
  3. Transfer sprouts to rimmed baking sheet and arrange so cut sides are facing down.
  4. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and continue to cook until Brussels sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer.
  6. Transfer to serving platter and toss with butter, lemon juice, and walnuts.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

3 thoughts on “Book Review/Recipe Pairing: The Hidden Life of Trees

  1. Nice recipe! I share your former disdain for these aromatic orbs. And I share your new found appreciation for them when treated properly. Maybe the former has something to do with every vegetable being boiled beyond recognition when I was growing up. Aaah, a benefit of being an adult. Or at least of adult age. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like to admit being an adult. And I certainly don’t like acting like one.


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