Brussels sprouts are a given on my Thanksgiving table, but I don't always give them much thought. Olive oil, salt, and a hot oven are my only requirements. While this method does produce pleasantly caramelized sprouts, it doesn't add much excitement to the table. This year, I'll take a cue from Tara Mataraza Desmond and toss my Brussels in brown butter and maple syrup as she does in her new cookbook, Choosing Sides.
Why I picked this recipe: Adding one step to my standard Brussels sprouts roasting method seemed like a necessary action when the result is an elevated side dish.
What worked: Desmond's maple-butter mixture is just sweet enough to accentuate the natural sugars in the roasted vegetables without making them taste like dessert.
What didn't: Nothing.
Suggested tweaks: If you're pressed for stovetop space, you can make the maple-butter mixture ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before adding it to the Brussels sprouts.
Reprinted with permission from Choosing Sides: From Holidays to Every Day, 130 Delicious Recipes to Make the Meal by Tara Matazara Desmond. Copyright 2013. Published by Andrews McMeel. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, outer leaves peeled, and halved (quartered if large)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a baking sheet and transfer it to the hot oven for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss the sprouts with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the salt and pepper. Pour the sprouts out onto the hot baking sheet and spread into a single layer. (Take the time to place each sprout cut side down for especially crisped and browned sprouts.)
Roast the Brussels sprouts for 15 to 20 minutes, until fork-tender and a dark brown crust forms on the sides exposed to the baking sheet.
While the sprouts roast, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, swirling it around as it becomes liquid. Keep a close eye on the butter as it starts to foam. If you look closely at the liquid butter as it cooks, you can see tiny specks of brown appear (which are the browning milk solids). Continue heating it until it starts to smell nutty and turns from off-white to golden to light brown. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in the maple syrup. Stir briskly as the mixture sizzles and spurts. Set aside in the saucepan until the Brussels finish roasting.
Remove the Brussels from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle the maple butter all over, tossing to coat evenly. Serve immediately.
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