Brussels sprouts are so chock-full of nutrition, it makes sense that they are such dense little round fellows with many layers. Part of the Brassica family, other brethren include: cabbage (they kind of look like miniature cabbages!), kale, cauliflower, and broccoli. They contain potent sulfur compounds (hence the smell when cooked) which have powerful anti-cancer benefits, support cardiovascular health and assist in phase 2 detox in the liver a critical aspect of eliminating toxins from our body. For such a nutritional powerhouse, in a really cute package, Brussels sprouts don?t have the excellent reputation that I believe they deserve. My suspicion is that the association with up-turned noses stems from the fact that they are often the victim of over-cooking and neglect! When a sulfur-containing vegetable (think broccoli or cabbage) is boiled past the point of no return, a mushy, malodorous end result should come as no surprise! However, when cooked just right, these sprouts still have a bit of a crispy texture and a wonderful nutty even sweet flavour.
Give this dish a try and allow this charming green sprout to show its best side and shed its mushy, odoriferous image of holidays-past! In the recipe below, a mustardy maple vinaigrette glazes crispy roasted Brussels sprouts combined with toasted nuts and savoury sundried tomatoes to create a festive holiday dish!
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts (approx. 4 cups)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup shallots (or onions)
- 2 Tbsp sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 2 Tbsp toasted pecans*
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (or walnut oil)
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp grainy mustard
- dash nutmeg
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Trim off the brown ends of the sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves.
- Cut in half.
- Toss them in a bowl with olive oil and salt.
- Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 25-35 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Shake the pan from time to time to brown the vegetables evenly.
- Toss with enough of the prepared dressing to coat you may not use all.
- Add sundried tomatoes, pecans and salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve warm.
*To toast pecans: Spread nuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350F for about 5 minutes until nuts are toasted. Set aside to cool.