Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fall Fest: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

For some reason Brussels sprouts are a controversial vegetable. I can't tell you how many people I come across who just can't stand them. I don't know if it's the flavor or the texture, but they have issues. Not me. I love these cute little brassicas. Especially roasted. And most especially when roasted with balsamic vinegar, which caramelizes them and adds a nice zing to their earthy flavor.

Usually, I buy Brussels sprouts by the bagful at Henry's, but I finally saw some still on the branch at Suncoast Farm's stall at the Little Italy Mercato. I've also seen them since at Trader Joe's. I like pulling each little ball off one by one and they seem fresher still clinging to the plant they grew on.

This is a recipe I use for both Brussels sprouts and baby artichokes. It also includes sliced garlic cloves and red onion.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar
Serves 6

2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Several sprigs of fresh oregano
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 of a cup)

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Add Brussels sprouts to the pot of boiling water and blanch for three minutes. Drain. In a large mixing bowl, add the Brussels sprouts, onion, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and mix until the ingredients are well blended.

In a large casserole, pour just enough oil to cover the bottom. Add the vegetable mixture to the casserole. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and vinegar.

Roast, covered, for 20 minutes. Then reduce heat to 375 degrees, uncover the vegetables and sprinkle generously with the Parmesan cheese. Roast uncovered for an additional half hour.

Here's what my Fall Fest colleagues are doing with brassicas:

Food Network UK: Why I Love Cabbage Soup
Todd and Diane: Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint
Paige at The Sister Project: Brussels Sprouts to Convert Even the Most Determined Haters
Liz at Healthy Eats: Kale 5 Ways (Including Kale Chips!)
Alison at Food2: All About Broccoli and Cauliflower
Michelle at Cooking Channel: Cauliflower with Sweet Potatoes
Kirsten at Food Network: Cheesy Brussels Sprouts
Caroline at Caroline at The Wright Recipes: Fresh Brussels Sprout Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese
Alana at Eating From the Ground Up: Brussels Sprouts Gratin 
Gilded Fork: Bodacious Brassicas
Nicole at Pinch My Salt: Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts

Now It's Your Turn to Join Fall Fest 2010!
This collaborative effort won't be much fun without you! The more info we all give, the more we'll all enjoy fall's harvest. Have a recipe or tip that fits any of our weekly themes? You can contribute in various ways, big or small.
  • Contribute a whole post, or a comment—whatever you wish. It’s meant to be fun, viral, fluid. No pressure, just delicious. 
  • Simply leave your tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below a Summer Fest post on my blog any upcoming Wednesday, and then go visit my collaborators and do the same.
The cross-blog event idea works best when you leave your recipe or favorite links (whether to your own blog or someone else’s) at all the host blogs. That way, they are likely to be seen by the widest audience. Everyone benefits, and then we're all cooking with some great ideas. Or go big: Publish entire posts of your own if you wish, and grab the big Fall Fest 2010 pumpkin badge above (illustrated by Matt of Mattbites). We'll also be tweeting using #fallfood as our hashtag. Here's the schedule:
Sept. 1: Sweet and Spicy Peppers
Sept. 8: Garlic
Sept. 15: White (or colorful “white”…but not sweet) Potatoes
Sept. 22: Spinach
Sept. 29: Apples
Oct. 6: Fall Salads
Oct. 13: Pumpkin and Winter Squash
Oct. 20: Pears
Oct. 27: “Mad Stash” (as in what you’re freezing/canning/drying, etc.)
Nov. 3: Root veggies
Nov. 10: Brassicas: incl. Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Cabbage or other
Nov. 17: Sweet Potatoes
Nov. 24: Bounty to Be Grateful For
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