Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Brussels are the new black

I didn't grow up eating brussel sprouts. In fact, I actually grew up fearing them. My only exposure to this little veggie was through the world of television. I'm pretty sure I watched the Brady kids refuse to eat them, and maybe even saw the Beaver (yes, I used to watch Leave it to Beaver) hide a few in his napkin.

Flash forward 25 years, and I've crossed over to the other side. I can't seem to get enough of these little cabbage like gems. And while the Cleavers and Brady's always served them steamed, plain, and nasty looking, roasting them is the way to go. When cooked at a high temperature, they caramelize and get brown, nutty, and a bit crispy. And this recipe, which came from my dear Uncle Bruce, calls for roasting them with bacon and adding some lemon juice at the end. If you're scared of brussel sprouts or have never tried them roasted, you must try this mind blowing recipe. And, if you like these, you have to check out Molly Wizenburg's recipe for cream braised brussels- another delicious way to do brussels.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with potato and bacon

1.5 pounds yukon gold or new red potatoes, quartered or halved if small
1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
6 medium shallots, quartered OR 1 medium onion cut into wedges
4 slices thick cut bacon, but crosswise into 1/2 inch strips
2 TBL olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 TBL unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine potatoes, brussels, shallots, and bacon in a large bowl; toss with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. Transfer to roasting pan and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender and well browned. As you can see from my photo, I love them dark and crispy.

Combine the melted butter and lemon juice in a small bowl, and pour over the vegetable mixture. Toss to coat and stir immediately. Note: this step can be skipped if you don't have lemon juice, but it adds another level of flavor, so if you've got a lemon and some butter, give it a try. The tang of the lemon really takes it to the next level.


Jane said...

These look great, can't wait to try them. Thank you for this recipe and your Uncle Bruce.

Sarah Bockel Smith said...

I'm trying these tonight!

Sarah Bockel Smith said...

This dish is amazing! I loved it. The flavors scream autumn. Allison is right; the dish would have been missing that "je ne sais quoi" without the lemon juice.

Ventura Food Happenings said...

So glad you liked them...to me they're good enough to serve with Thanksgiving dinner!