It is time to return with a vengeance, so that is what I shall do. The past couple weeks have been overwhelming in a lot of ways, more so than the average start to the semester, and my solace will be blogospherical. Not to mention the backlog has grown so we’ve got to do something about that!
My sister asked me yesterday to get on posting the brussel sprout recipe already; you know, the one I’ve been hinting at. She’s cooking dinner for her fellow Ferry House-ers tonight, so she wanted to share these little babies with them. This recipe is nothing too complex or unique (in fact it completely saturated the blogosphere from about October to December, so you’ve probably heard about it) but it is special and really delicious, not to mention incredibly simple. I don’t usually get obsessed with a recipe to the point of making it whenever I can, but this past fall and winter this was definitely my go-to preparation for brussel sprouts every time I had some within reach. But really, can you blame me? Once you try these yourself, you’ll definitely think not.
Maple-Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Hazelnuts
Maple Syrup (get the real stuff – Aunt Jemima is not invited to this party)
Hazelnuts (you can substitute these with almonds if you like – I’ve found both work well)
Preheat oven to 400°. Wash the brussel sprouts and pat dry. Inspect for any debris and remove. Slice into halves or quarters (whatever your preference – I usually quarter them because they crisp more easily, but if they’re particularly small halves might work better) and place in a large bowl. Toss with a splash of olive oil and another of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of sea salt (I have deliberately not included exact measurements – every batch of brussels is different so follow your intuition). Spread evenly on a baking sheet no more than one thick – give them space to breathe and as much contact with the pan as possible, to facilitate searing. Place in oven.
While the brussel sprouts are starting to roast, roughly chop hazelnuts (again, you can add more or less depending on your taste) and toss them in the bowl with the residual olive oil and maple syrup so they are lightly coated. Once the brussel sprouts have been roasting for about 10 minutes or so, toss the hazelnuts into the mix on the pan and again spread them evenly. Roast until desired doneness is achieved – about half an hour or so.
Serve immediately and eat while warm! It is a revelation.
It’s not exactly brussel sprout season anymore, but if you find yourself with some in hand, I highly suggest trying them this way. It is like candy but better. The crispy texture of the outer leaves gradually gives way to the chewy heart of the sprout, and the nuts add a crunchiness that really adds to the texture party. The sweetness of the syrup and is the perfect contrast to the sea salt and the vegetal, earthy taste of the brassica. Like many things I like, this dish is all about contrast in flavour and texture. Give it a go. It will not let you down.