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Bar Tartine Chef Nicolaus Balla's Warm Brussels Sprouts with Honey, Caraway, and Lime

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[Photograph: Christina Holmes]

We love the charred, crisp, and just-sweet leaves of roasted brussels sprouts. The sprouts are a perfect canvas for just about any blanket of flavors, even the seemingly crazy combination of caraway, lime juice, mint, and cilantro Bar Tartine's Nicolaus Balla suggests in Food and Wine's new cookbook America's Greatest New Cooks. Balla's seamless blending of Eastern European and Southeast Asian tastes are fully realized in this vibrant vegetable side. The sprouts are sweet-tart and spicy, with a curious undercurrent of rye-bread that'll keep any sprout lover coming back for more.

Why I picked this recipe: A big Bar Tartine fan myself, I couldn't resist the opportunity to Balla-ify my favorite wintertime vegetable.

What worked: Caraway plus cilantro, honey, and lime? Wouldn't have thought of it myself, but I'll certainly pair these flavors again.

What didn't: I thought the two massive serranos I included overpowered the other flavors a bit. Next time, I'll cut back to one.

Suggested tweaks: This pungent dressing would work on any number of cruciferous vegetables, from cauliflower to cabbage. Feel free to experiment with abandon.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of America's Greatest New Cooks to give away this week.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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