The food blogging world seems to go through mini-crazes. There was a rash of ratatouille recipes this past summer, for example, clearly inspired by the release of the film. Other trends are not so obvious in origin- why, for instance, is there a sudden obsession with macarons? Sure, they’re delicious, but what happened to raise them to the status of “the new cupcake” as some have said? It’s even more of a rarity when a mundane little vegetable with a bad reputation gets to be the new hot thing. Yes, I do believe we’re in the midst of a brussels sprouts moment.
The food blogging world seems to have collectively stumbled upon the realization that these much maligned little sprouts can be downright delicious, especially when roasted just so. We’ve already made them in three different ways this winter, but this is perhaps my favorite thus far. Posted by Stephanie on her wonderful blog Scrumptious Street a couple of weeks ago, this recipe for brussels sprouts and cranberries with balsamic brown butter is not only delicious, but couldn’t look more festive. I kept thinking of holly as I looked at the mix of greens and red. My family usually celebrates our Russian heritage with pierogies, stuffed cabbage, kielbasa, and the like on Christmas, but for those who go for a more traditional menu, these would be perfect. The tangyness of the cranberries and balsamic and the richness of the butter, should be enough to convert even the most stuck-in-the-mud brussels sprout hater.
Given that I was making these for a weekday side dish and was hoping to have some leftovers, I more than doubled the number of brussels sprouts in the recipe (using maybe 35 total) and doubled the cranberries but tried to skimp on the butter a bit, using maybe 3 tbsp total. Below is the recipe as it appeared on Scrumptious Street, intended as an indulgent side dish for two. Enjoy!
Roasted brussels sprouts and cranberries with balsamic brown butter (serves 2)
12-14 fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 fresh sage leaves, whole
1 small shallot, minced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash the brussels sprouts and cranberries and let drain in colander. Remove any tough or damaged outer leaves from the sprouts. Cut the stems off and slice in half lengthwise.
2. Arrange the sprouts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, with some cut-side down and some cut-side up. Add the cranberries to the baking sheet. Drizzle them all with the olive oil and season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, check with a fork, they should be tender inside but not soft.
3. Five minutes before the sprouts are done roasting, add the butter to a small saucepan and melt on low heat. Add in the shallot and sage leaves and increase the heat to medium-high. Let the butter cook and begin to brown and foam, continually swirling the pan for about 4 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar right before the sprouts are done and cook one minute longer. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
4. Remove the sprouts and cranberries from the oven and pour into a serving bowl. Drizzle the balsamic brown butter over the sprouts and berries and toss with a slotted spoon. Taste and add more salt or pepper if necessary. Serve immediately.