This is a quick and easy recipe, with divine results! A little sweet, a little tart, and deeply flavorful.
They are here, and they’ll be around for duration of cold weather – Brussels sprouts! Sweet little cabbage-like nuggets of flavor and nutrition. They are delicious steamed, sautéed, roasted, and grilled, cooked pretty much any way except boiled to death and soggy which is how I experienced them as a child! Indeed, I thought for years that I hated this humble vegetable and so I avoided them.
Part of the problem, I think, was when they were boiled to death the house smelled really bad for hours!
Always cook quickly!
Quick cooking is the key, and this recipe has little hands-on time, especially if you buy nice fresh sprouts from the farm stands that don’t even need their ends trimmed!
In a good year here in the northeast, September rains encourage lots of wild mushrooms, including my favorite chanterelles. This year, we haven’t had much rain, so they’ve been a bit precious.
One mushroom, a year of cooking
However, having obtained a lovely Hen of the Woods mushroom (not to be confused with chicken of the woods, also delicious), I decided it would add a nice woodsy flavor and meaty texture to the sweet sprouts. Also called Maitake mushrooms, these delights are distinctive, large, and if you find a big one you can dehydrate the mushroom petals for use all year.
You can always substitute any favorite mushroom of course. Crimini would be delicious here, or even a humble white button mushroom!
Now, if you can find some chanterelles instead, even better!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
- 8 oz. Hen of the Woods mushrooms
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Oil a rimmed baking sheet.
Trim off any dark ends of the sprouts, and slice in half through the root end. Don’t worry about loose leaves unless they are discolored; they will become crispy bits in the oven.
Pull or cut the petals off the mushroom, and cut or break into 1- to 2-inch pieces. They will shrink considerably in the oven.
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, syrup, and soy sauce and mix well in a large bowl. Add the sprouts and mushrooms and toss with fingers until well coated.
Dump the vegetables into the baking sheet and arrange the sprouts cut-side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sprouts are just tender and browned on the underside. Flip, and cook another five minutes.
While sprouts are cooking, in a dry pan, toast the seeds over high, swirling the pan around and absolutely not walking away from it! This takes seconds, not minutes. Place in a small bowl so they stop cooking.
Plate the sprouts and sprinkle with the seeds.
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