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Friday, January 13, 2012

Trader Joe's Roasted Brussels Sprouts

A few weeks ago I was having an adventurous time at Trader Joe's. It was the Friday before the New Years' weekend and the place was packed! We were like Trader Joe's sardines, but sardines that talked:  "Excuse me, pardon me, whoops, should have signaled! Sorry, did I just run over your foot? I mean, your fin?"

A sidebar: The Santa Fe Trader Joe's has a significant number of shoppers wearing black clothing and black berets. It must be the artsy influence.

Okay, back to the story. In the produce area a large crowd was gathered around a table, exclaiming, "I've never seen that before! So that's how they look!" They were talking about Brussels sprouts still on their stalks, like natural, man.

I bought a stalk for nostalgic purposes because once I had grown Brussels sprouts and I now had some just beginning to poke up through the dirt back home in the Growing Dome.

When I got home I planned to cut them off the stalk and roast them like I usually do, tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and leaving them in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. They are lovely like that.

But  I saw something dangling from the end of the stalk and it was a recipe from Trader Joe. So I decided to give it a try.

First I rinsed the stalk of sprouts, wrapped the wet stalks in plastic wrap and microwaved them for about 3 minutes. I think that's to par cook them before roasting. Below is a photo of how I wrapped the stalk to preserve the heat and moisture from washing them.







Please excuse the old Silpat mat. I need to buy a new one.

In a small bowl I mixed 1/2 cup maple syrup (I used the real stuff) with 1/4 cup olive oil. I unwrapped the sprouts, discarded the plastic wrap and brushed the maple syrup/olive oil mixture over them. I sprinkled them with salt and pepper to taste. 

I baked them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. They came out nicely roasted, with some of the outer leaves crispy, which I like, with a slightly sweet taste. 

Here's how they looked out of the oven: Look at how the syrup has caramelized a bit.


You can serve them like this and your diners can hack off what they want from the stalk, Henry the 8th style, or you can do the honors and serve in a dish.

I love roasting Brussels sprouts. They have a nutty, slightly sweet taste that is not at all like your Irish mother's sprouts which were boiled within an inch of their lives.

Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. one of our favorite vegies. good recipe. i've seen them at TJ's like this. have to try it. thanks! theer

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