Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Brussels Sprouts Recipe Everyone Wants

I have had many requests for this recipe, from people who ate the brussels sprouts, ones who heard about it, and some who read by thanksgiving post.  December is here, and we all return to work, but know that the holiday season has really started, and wish we could make cookies and play with ribbon all day long. Or more to the point, as a British friend said yesterday, December is all about alcoholic fruit and booze and cake. I think she included cake on the list, the Brits would need something to absorb all the boozy fruit. (Note: upcoming post, I will figure out what British boozy fruit is.)

December is here and brussels sprouts are among the few things still in season. These are incredibly savory and briny. A welcome change to the palate. The dressing is incredibly different than our usual heavy holiday season flavors or spice and sweetness.

It went around and around out holiday table, so that is worth something. People were like, "please pass the brussels sprouts" and "where did those amazing brussels sprouts go?" and "oh YES! There are still some left!" (Read thanksgiving Part1 and Part2.)

Simple enough to make up part of an every day dinner. Be sure to make extra because you will want the leftovers!

Notes on anchovies: many people are scared of the poor little fish. (Like my husband, who thinks he doesn't like them, but when I put them in food and does not tell him, he loves it!) They are super salty and little mashed fish is...whatever they are delicious. If you don't like them much, buy the European type in a tube, it is a paste and so easy to work with in the kitchen. Unscrew the top, squeeze into a dressing, screw back on the top, and back into the fridge for very easy storage. Don't skip them, they really make this dish sing.

Savory Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Walnuts

3 lbs brussels sprouts, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup walnuts

2 garlic cloves
2 shallots
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons capers (rinsed if in salt)
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon anchovy paste (or one 2 oz tin, drained and minced)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°. Quarter each brussels sprout into 4 wedges. Place on 2 baking sheets, toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in the oven for 20 to 40 minutes. (Sprouts and ovens vary so.) Stir or shake once midway. The sprouts should have some charred black spots and crispy bits. The insides will be tender. Remove from the oven and transfer into a large bowl.

Toast the walnuts, spread them in an oven proof pan, roast in the oven for  about 8 minutes. The walnuts will be a warm brown and smell toasty and fragrant.

Make the dressing. If you have a food processor, fit it with the chopping blade. Peel garlic and shallots, chop into bits in the food processor. (Or mince with a knife.) The entire dressing can be made in the food processor, or a mason jar with a tight fitting lid works very well. Add the vinegars, olive oil, mustard, honey, capers, pepper, and some or all of the anchovy paste. Blend or shake the dressing well. Taste the dressing on a brussels sprout, add additional salt only if needed.

Pour the dressing over the still warm brussels sprouts (they absorb more flavor this way.) Serve warm or at room temperature.  Keeps for 4 days in the fridge.

*Adapted from Food and Wine, Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Capers and Anchovies (2011).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave me a comment, happy to hear what you think!