(A modified version of this post originally appeared on CatchAFallingAniseStar )
"I hate brussels sprouts" I declared with the definite arrogance of the close-minded. I was staring at the season's first shipment of raw, organic sprouts that had just arrived at Fiddleheads, flicking over ancient childhood memories of those greyish, overcooked, nasty little nobs that came from a can. "Try them roasted and glazed," other members of the co-op insisted. "You'll fall in love with them."
By that point I had already roasted (and grilled) kale chips and all manner of green things, so when I looked up recipes online, I found the technique was quite similar: rub with olive oil, salt and pepper, bake in oven, sit back and enjoy the compliments. Cathy Elton's version had a recipe with a fabulous-sounding maple-mustard glaze, but she roasts them whole and the cooking time is 40-50 minutes. I needed mine done in under 25 for dinner. One of Cathy's favorite sites, Leafy Greens and Me, has a variation in which the sprouts are cut in halves or quarters to speed the cooking time to about 15 minutes. Perfect...except that the glaze consists almost entirely of maple syrup, after having roasted the veggies with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. So I smashed the two recipes together, added some twists of my own - onion, cayenne pepper - and gave it a go.
Consider me a convert.
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Mustard-Cayenne Glaze
1 lb (approx.) fresh organic brussels sprouts, stem ends pared and halved or quartered, smallest ones left whole)
4 T olive oil
sea salt and black pepper (pref. freshly cracked) to taste
1/4 tea or generous dash of cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
1/4 Grade B maple syrup
organic stoneground mustard (coarsely-ground) to taste (about 1 T)
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/4 freshly squeezed lemon
1/4 medium-sized yellow or white onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F); lightly oil a baking tray. Trim and half or quarter, depending on size, the brussels sprouts; leave smallest ones whole. Toss in a bowl with olive oil to coat, then sprinkle with the salt pepper and cayenne. If any leaves came off the sprouts during the trimming process, add them to the bowl.
Spread sprouts on tray, place on rack in center of over and bake for 10-15 minutes or until fork-tender and slightly crisp on the outer leaves; turn 2-3 times during cooking process to bake evenly. (Any loose leaves tend to cook quickest and become tasty little miniature chips.)
In the meantime combine remaining ingredients for the glaze, emulsify until thoroughly blended and opaque. When sprouts are tender, remove from oven and turn temperature down to 375 degrees. Pour enough glaze over the sprouts to coat thoroughly when tossed on tray, but do not "drown" them; store any remaining glaze in the fridge for future use. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serves four.
Note: Replace cayenne with fresh hot red pepper, finely chopped, or dried pepper flakes if desired.
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