new Things I Ate in Cambodia: balsamic roasted brussels sprouts with shallot and rosemary

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

balsamic roasted brussels sprouts with shallot and rosemary


Brussel sprouts are often maligned. Many an innocent American child has suffered through dismal dinners of boiled and unseasoned brussel sprouts: no wonder they're so often hated. But if treated with respect and love, the brussel sprouts becomes one of the planet's tastiest vegetables. Here's my recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar, red onion, and shallot. Guaranteed tastiness. Shed thy childhood trauma.


1 pound brussels sprouts
1 red onion
1 shallot
Tsp of kosher salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Artichoke hearts (if desired)

You will need about a pound of sprouts for four people. Round up or down depending on the sprout lovin' proclivities of your audience.

Cut the sprouts and remove the outer leaves and split in half if you are using big guys. Leave them whole if using baby brussels sprouts. As you do this, turn up your oven to 425 degrees.

Finely chop one red onion and one shallot.

Get a bowl or pan and toss in the sprouts and the onion and shallot, as well as some chopped rosemary. Mix with a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of salt (more to taste), and a tablespoon or so of nice balsamic vinegar. Make sure the sprouts and the onions are nicely coated.

Get a big flat baking sheet and coat with olive oil or Pam. Spread out the onion and brussel sprout mixture, making sure to even out clumps. If you're like me and deeply enjoy crispy roasted onion bits, you'll want things to lie nice and flat.

Stick those suckers in the oven! My oven takes around 20 minutes to roast these to tenderness: it may take a little less time if you are using baby brussel sprouts.

If you would like to go all fancy with this, about 10 minutes into cooking time, get out a small sauce pan, turn it to high, and add two or three tablespoons of vinegar and a finely chopped shallot, as well as some rosemary and diced garlic. Reduce the sauce to a nice thick level, and toss on the sprouts when they are just about done cooking.

They should look something like this once they're done. Serve the sprouts immediately after they are removed from the oven, making sure to scrape up aforementioned crispy onion bits to sprinkle on top. These brussels sprouts go especially nicely with braised meat or chicken dishes: I like these with lamb shanks, beef short ribs, and other earthy and wonderful winter specialities.

Variant: toss in some cleaned artichoke hearts or mushrooms along with the brussels sprouts. Extra deliciousness!

Next up: smothered okra with tomato sauce and shrimp from Cookin' Up A Storm. Yeah baby.

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