Last week when we were at Catskill Maison for our final weekend at our Catskills Bed and Breakfast we went to our local farms and hoarded fall vegetables in preparation for heading back to NYC. We got loads of winter squashes, pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, apples, onions and beets. My fridge looks like a restaurant walk in! I also purchased a stalk of brussel sprouts. With the exception of myself and my Grandfather, my family really hates brussel sprouts. Problem is that I love them, and I especially love the ones from Shaul Farm. They leave them on the stalk so they stay fresh longer, and they don’t have that bitter taste that brussel sprouts are known for. In purchasing one stalk it was my plan to roast brussel sprouts and somehow convince my parents who think that they are the nastiest thing in the world, that if purchased directly from the farm instead of in the supermarket brussel sprouts are a nutty and tasty vegetable.
So the other night I preheated the oven to 425F, cut the sprouts off of the stalk, put them on a roasting pan, covered them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper and stuck the brussel sprouts in the oven. While they were roasting I heated 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil with a handful of dried cranberries and yellow raisins to reconstitute (plump them). When the vinegar came to a boil I shut off the burner and let the vinegar sit. After 10 minutes I took the sprouts out of the oven, poured the vinegar with cranberries and raisins over the sprouts, coarsely chopped a handful of pecans and threw them over the sprouts, added a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon of Sriracha and tasted the concoction. I then re-seasoned with salt and pepper and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes and then they were done.
My father walked into the kitchen and looked at the roasting pan and asked “what’s that?”. “Brussel sprouts” I replied cheerily. “I don’t eat those and I’m not eating that” was the response I received. “Come on Dad, just try one and then you can then say you don’t like them, just give it a try”, I coaxed. The next response was “I’m not 10 years old I don’t have to eat those” with a serious dadttitude! (I really wanted to point out to him that his pouting was exactly the behavior of the 10 year old he was claiming not to be, but I held my tongue because I really didn’t want to fight him, I wanted him to try these brussel sprouts). So when the rest of the meal was plated my mother said “put 3 on his plate”, and I did. Well he ate them all, and then said “those were pretty good!”. My mother even went so far as to say that the brussel sprouts were good enough for her to feel that she would have no problem eating them. MAJOR SCORE!!!! The only problem is that the brussel sprouts in restaurants and supermarkets don’t taste like the farm sprouts. We went to dinner last night to one of the best restaurants in Westchester County, and my father and I both ordered a veal chop with brussel sprouts as one of the accompaniments. This was a huge deal for my dad who normally would rather not order his favorite dish if sprouts came with it…I was so proud of him, but low and behold I ate one of the brussel sprouts at the same time as my father and thought “oh no, these are bitter” (which I don’t mind). I took one look at his face and said to him “You don’t like them do you”. He had a pained expression on his face and said “No”. So before all of the progress of the other night went down the drain I quickly removed those brussel sprouts from his plate.
I guess the moral of the story here is that if you or your friends or family think that you hate brussel sprouts, try my above recipe and purchase the sprouts still on the stalk from the farmers market. It might just convert you into being a brussel sprout lover. It just proves to me again that nothing compares to food that comes straight from the farm!
Brussel Sprouts, olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, cranberries, yellow raisins, pecans, dijon mustard, sriracha.