By now, the campaign for Brussels sprouts hardly needs any help from me.
They're seen proudly offered on menus, often served in a mini cast-iron skillet with bacon or pancetta. I've seen a slideshow featuring a dozen favorite Brussels-sprouts dishes from restaurants in New York City.
Brussels sprouts have been the "it" girl for a while, kind of the Anne Hathaway of vegetables.
That's because falling in love with Brussels sprouts is easy. Just roast them. People try them this way and are instantly smitten with the cute little cabbages. They are irresistible when crisped and caramelized at the edges, a far cry from the mushy steamed sprouts of childhood nightmares.
So what's out there for the roasted-Brussels-sprouts enthusiast looking for something new? Here's a fresh take on how to serve this cruciferous vegetable, though still lightly charred, with no bacon in sight.
Brussels sprouts are quartered and roasted at high temperatures before getting tossed with thinly sliced red cabbage. A spiced-honey-mustard salad dressing is bright with lemon juice and slightly sweet, which complements the plump cranberries, and ties everything together.
One bite in, and I was a fool for Brussels sprouts all over again. The dressing is complex with its sweet-and-spicy combo, amped up by the sizzling garlic. The sprouts are caramelized and the red cabbage is crunchy. This salad is an inviting mix of colors, flavors and textures.
It was so good that I took a few more bites from the serving bowl before taking it to the dinner table. And about halfway through the serving on my plate, I remembered the cheese. I'd forgotten to add the cheese! That doesn't happen very often.
If you already love roasted Brussels sprouts, you'll love this fresh take on them. The cabbage adds color and crunch, and everything is tied together in a slightly sweet dressing. Plump cranberries and toasted nuts kick it up another notch. The original recipe calls for pine nuts, but they can be crazy expensive. The cashews in my pantry were delicious. I reduced the amount of cabbage so it didn't overwhelm the Brussels sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Red Cabbage
½ cup pine nuts or cashews
1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or paprika
½ teaspoon pure chile powder, such as ancho
1-1¼ pounds red cabbage, very thinly sliced using a mandoline (or a steady hand and a sharp knife)
½ cup dried cranberries
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, thinly sliced
Heat the oven to 450°.
Spread out pine nuts or cashews on a baking sheet and toast until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
On a separate large baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast until slightly browned, crispy, and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice in a small bowl with the honey, mustard, cayenne pepper, and chile powder. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss the cabbage with the toasted nuts and cranberries in a large bowl. Heat the rest of the olive oil in a small skillet on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Pour the garlic and hot oil over the cabbage. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss. Pour in the dressing and toss to coat. Mix in the cheese and serve immediately (though it was still very good the next day straight from the fridge).
Yield: 4 servings
Source: Adapted from Food & Wine