Ina Garten’s Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ina Garten's Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts | theclevercarrot.com

I love Ina Garten.

If there’s one chef I’d be so lucky to have dinner with it would be the Barefoot Contessa herself (and Jamie Oliver, of course).

You think they’d get along?

Seriously though, every one of her recipes are meticulously tested, they taste amazing, and I can tell you personally she’s the nicest (and I mean the nicest) person ever. My cousin makes a version of her meatballs and they are so, so good. I think it’s the nutmeg…

But enough celebrity crush talk for now… let’s get into some brussels sprouts!

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shaved brussels sprouts salad with wild rice + apples

shaved brussels sprouts salad with wild rice + apples | The Clever Carrot

One of the things that I love most about cooking, is that you never stop learning.

I freelance as a recipe developer which means I get to create and test out different recipes for clients. It’s hard, meticulous work that I find very interesting. Last year it was all about the brussels sprout. I tested what felt like hundreds of recipes, which seriously stunk out my kitchen. It was to the point that when I went out in public, I felt like there was a cloud of green stench wafting behind me (which there probably was). In any event, I learned a lot about these little green baubles…

My new favorite preparation is to shave them.

shaved brussels sprouts salad with wild rice + apples | The Clever Carrot

You can do this with a mandoline, but it’s a lot easier (and faster) if you shred them in a food processor. Some of the leaves will fall off whole, which looks nice in the finished dish as well.

I sauté the sprouts without coloring them too much, just enough to soften them a bit. From there, you can make all kinds of things; brussels sprout pasta with garlic, vegetable spring rolls, slaws, and even add to soups like minestrone. I chose to do a quasi-harvest salad with wild rice and apples. There’s leftover butternut squash in there too, but it’s not essential if you don’t have any (one less thing you have to cook, right?) It’s all about using up what you’ve got.

I serve this warm or at room temperature with a maple-bacon vinaigrette.

shaved brussels sprouts salad with wild rice + apples | The Clever Carrot

Tips:

  • You can shave the brussels sprouts ahead of time by storing them in an air-tight container. Place a paper towel on top to absorb any extra moisture.
  • If you have a lemon handy, squeeze some over the apple slices to prevent browning. If you are making this in advance, add the apples and vinaigrette right before serving.
shaved brussels sprouts salad with wild rice + apples
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 c. cooked wild rice
  • 1 large apple (I used Macoun), thinly sliced*
  • ½ c. dried cranberries, chopped
  • 1 c. cooked butternut squash (optional)
  • 1 lemon
Maple-bacon vinaigrette
  • 4 slices of bacon (I used Applewood smoked bacon)
  • 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup + more to taste
  • 1 heaped tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • salt & pepper
*If you have a lemon handy, squeeze some over the apple slices to prevent browning. If you are making this in advance, add the apples and vinaigrette right before serving.
Instructions
  1. For the rice: Cook the wild rice according to the package instructions. Spread out onto a rimmed baking tray to cool. Set aside.
  2. For the vinaigrette: Combine the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Slowly stream in the olive oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper, and add extra maple syrup to taste.
  3. For the salad: Using a small knife, trim away the ends of each brussels sprout. Any leaves that fall off whole (and are not bruised or damaged), set aside. Process the sprouts in a food processor fitted with the shredder blade. Set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, warm a splash of olive oil over moderate heat. Dice the bacon into ½ inch pieces and saute until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Remove all of the bacon drippings from the pan, reserving 1 tablespoon for the brussels sprouts.
  5. Add the shredded sprouts, plus any whole leaves to the pan. Saute over medium-low heat until soft, yet not colored, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  6. Add the shallots and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until everything is soft and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Transfer the brussels sprouts to a large bowl.
  8. Add the rice, apple slices, cranberries and butternut squash (if using).
  9. Top with the reserved bacon.
  10. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to combine. Add additional vinaigrette and seasoning as needed.
  11. Server warm or at room temperature.
Notes
*You can prepare the shaved brussels sprouts ahead of time by storing them in an air-tight container. Place a paper towel on top to absorb any extra moisture.

roasted brussels sprouts with quinoa, cranberries + miso

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever Carrot

I’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain.

I know, it’s barely Halloween and I’m talking holidays already. I don’t mean to stress you out or anything, but wouldn’t it be nice to add something new to your menu this year? You know, like planning ahead? Think about it…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever Carrot

Poor little brussels sprouts get such a bad wrap. But let’s face it- they stink. They’re like mini methane bombs. I happen to like brussels sprouts though, so I don’t mind the stink. You should try them roasted. The heat intensifies their flavor making them nutty and delicious.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever CarrotRoasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever CarrotRoasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever Carrot

Now the trick to roasting brussels sprouts is to give them space. Overcrowding the pan will cause them to steam instead of roast. Use 2 pans if necessary. Another trick is to arrange them in 1 single layer, cut side down. By doing this you are essentially ‘searing’ the sprout, as you would a steak. Flip them with tongs towards the end of cooking and you will have perfectly golden sprouts everytime.

To go with it, I toss in some protein packed quinoa and dried cranberries. I serve it with a little miso dressing on the side. This particular miso recipe has a touch of pumpkin purée in it for color (and because I have a lifetime supply…) but this is optional as you can’t really taste it. Either way, I like the salty sweet combination with the sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever Carrot

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Quinoa, Cranberries + Miso | The Clever Carrot

So this is what I’m making for Thanksgiving this year. It’s a fun and festive side dish that highlights just how underrated this cruciferous vegetable can be. Just thought I’d share my little creation to get us all frazzled thinking ahead!

What about you? What are some of your festive holiday creations?

roasted brussels sprouts with quinoa, cranberries + miso
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Quinoa:
  • ½ c. quinoa
  • 1 c. water
  • pinch of salt
Brussels sprouts:
  • 2 lbs. brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (+ more to coat the trays)
  • pinch of salt & pepper
Miso Dressing:
  • 3 tbsp. white miso*
  • ¼ garlic clove (or more depending on how much you like)
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin
  • 2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable or mild flavored olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. water
*To make this gluten-free, be sure to look for brown-rice based white miso. Gluten-free brands include Eden Foods & South River Miso.
Garnish
  • 1 c. dried cranberries, preferably organic
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F. Grab 1 or 2 large baking trays and lightly coat with olive oil.
  2. In a small pot, bring water to a boil and season with a pinch of salt.
  3. Add the quinoa and give it a quick stir. Cover with a lid, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 20 minutes. When finished, remove from the heat and take off the lid. This helps to evaporate any remaining moisture.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the brussels sprouts.
  5. Trim the ends off leaving the whole sprout intact (it's ok to lose a couple of leaves). Slice them in half.
  6. Add the sprouts to a large bowl and coat with olive oil. Toss with with salt and pepper. Arrange them on the baking tray in 1 single layer, cut side down.
  7. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping them with tongs about halfway through cooking. Only turn them when the underside is nice and golden brown.
  8. While the sprouts are roasting, make the miso dressing.
  9. Blitz all of the ingredients together in a mini food processor or blender until well combined. Add additional water if it seems too thick.
  10. To serve, spoon the brussels sprouts onto a large platter or bowl. Add the quinoa and cranberries, and toss gently to combine. Give it a taste and season with extra salt and pepper if necessary.
  11. Enjoy this dish warm or at room temperature.