Monday, November 28, 2011

Roast Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes and Walnuts

                                                                                     Photographs by Rachel Horesovsky

I saw this dish on the cover of a Martha Stewart publication at a hotel we stayed at a few weeks ago when we were moving Emma to Massachusetts.  I didn't read the recipe, but somehow the image from the cover of the magazine was permanently seared into my memory and I couldn't stop thinking about it for weeks .

This is probably because I LOVE Brussels sprouts.  When I was a kid, my mother would boil them until they were mush and I hated them more than anything on earth.  But in college I had a properly cooked sprout, and it was an epiphany.  These little cabbages weren't mushy and bitter like the ones from my childhood.  No, if cooked properly, they were nutty and sweet and earthy and crunchy and buttery.  Mmmmmmmmm.  I was hooked.

Since then I have loved Brussels sprouts.  The trick is to not overcook them.  Doug and I have been making a balsamic roasted brussels sprout dish for thanksgiving for a few years now, and I decided to add some red grapes and walnuts to the mix (thanks for the inspiration Martha!).  These were great!  The red grapes enhanced the sweetness, but were still tangy, the walnuts gave just the right crunch.  Next year I may even throw in a little bacon!

Roast Brussels Sprouts with Red Grapes and Walnuts
(serves 8)

1 lb. brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and cut in half.
1 1/2 cup whole red seedless grapes
3/4 cup chopped walnut halves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar.

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large bowl combine brussels sprouts, grapes and walnuts.  In a separate bowl, combine remainng ingredients and whisk together like a salad dressing.  Pour dressing over sprouts mixture, toss to coat, and roast on a parchment lined baking sheet for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Serve hot.

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