I made a version of this for Thanksgiving, which included sweet potato and cauliflower instead of broccolini and arugula. Now that we’re well into this season of carb-overload, I lightened the night up with greens instead.
I love the sweet and tangy combo of balsamic and maple syrup. Oh, and surprise… I also love brussels sprouts. I think it’s amazing how quickly brussel sprouts seemed to go from America’s most hated food, to everyone’s favorite. I actually never had them before this year because my mom hated them as a child. Which isn’t my mom’s fault… I think her generation grew up hating brussels sprouts and mine grew up convinced they were the enemy.
What a tumultuous past for such a small innocent (and did I mention highly affordable?) vegetable… like most, it’s not their fault if people don’t cook them right.
serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side.
Feel free to use the measurements as a guide and taste as you go. If I’m cooking for company, I might use more oil and maple syrup, when I’m just cooking for the 2 of us, I use less.
1.5 cups (or so) of brussels sprouts
1 bunch broccolini (or other veggies such as cauliflower or sweet potato)
a few handfuls of arugula
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
a teaspoon or so of salt (to taste)
a couple turns of the pepper mill
Preheat oven to 375.
Remove outer leaves of brussels sprouts and cut in half. Chop broccolini into bite sized pieces.
Spread vegetables on a large baking sheet. I roast the broccolini on a separate sheet because it takes less time. Drizzle all veggies with the olive oil, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and balsamic and toss around on the sheet until coated. (I drizzle a little more on the brussel sprouts, a little less on the broccolini since it takes more to get the brussels sprouts to tenderize).
Roast broccolini for approx. 20 minutes or until browned but not burnt. (tossing halfway through). Roast brussel sprouts for approx. 45 minutes until browned and carmelized (also flipping halfway through). Really watch and adjust the timing to whenever they look done. Don’t be afraid to deeply caramelize them, the more roasty the better. Sometimes I put the broiler on for the last minute or so if it looks like they need the help, but I’ve also lit them on fire this way.
Once roasted, set aside and let cool to about room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning – you might need more salt, pepper, or maple syrup. You can roast the veggies a few hours in advance, it actually gets better if you let it sit and let the flavors meld together. Warm it just before serving.
Toss together with arugula and cranberries. Taste again, add a drizzle of olive oil if you prefer a salad that is more dressed.