Monday, May 23, 2011

a vegetable conquered

I honestly never thought the day would come that would see me craving brussel sprouts, yes craving. Not thinking about in an it might be nice kind of way but positively enthusiastic in an eating straight from the oven kind of way. What brought about the change? Well, two things really - baking and balsamic. Ok, and well also possibly age.  I don't know that brussel sprouts have a natural affinity with the childhood palate but maybe it's not so much that, as the fact that it seems most of our collective memories of horrible, mushy, bitter brussel sprouts seem to stem from childhood experiences of having them boiled and served on their own.

Recently, out of the blue, perhaps brought on by the colder weather and a foolhardy sense of adventurousness, I decided to give them another crack with a few tweaks, and now at long last I'm a bit of a convert. My Dad, a brussel sprouts advocate for years, will be ever so pleased.

Balsamic Baked Brussel Sprouts

2- 3 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tspn honey
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate the olive oil until a dressing is formed.

Place the brussels sprouts in a single layer on a greased baking tray with a small drizzle of oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, drizzle the oil and vinegar over the sprouts and gently toss to coat, then return to the oven for another 5 or so minutes, until the sprouts are brown and crispy.

The sweetness of the balsamic and honey cuts through the bitterness of the sprouts and goes amazingly well with the salt. They make a great accompaniment to home-made meat pie or are nice just on their own, with perhaps a nice glass of red and a few episodes of Fringe for accompaniment. Just a suggestion.


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