After a brief lapse due to the hecticness of the holidays, I’m back with the final post of the three-part series I’m doing with my dear friend and crazy gifted chef, Shauna Galante of A Secret Language. I wanted to make it a point to share these brussels sprouts with you before Christmas, so that if you’re looking for a crazy delicious and good-for-you side dish for you holiday spread, you can use this little number.
I was a bit selfish, and made this recipe again for Thanksgiving after Shauna had given it to me but before I shared it here with all of you. I wanted them *so* badly again, after having them when Shauna made them at my Creative Mastermind and then again when we collaborated at my home to photograph + chronicle the recipes to share them with you here.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts
I think we can all agree that the best Brussels sprout is a deeply caramelized and crispy Brussels sprout. If you don’t have the time or patience to treat each individual sprout like it’s an expensive piece of fish, make sure you follow the rules for roasting: make sure washed vegetables are patted dry of any excess water; use high heat and a healthy amount of oil; and don’t overcrowd your pan!
— Shauna of SecretLanguagePDX.com
- 2-4 Tbsp cooking oil as needed
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 1 small shallot
- ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup whole grain mustard
- 2 Tbsp. maple syrup or honey
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 Tbsp very good olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Toss the walnuts with olive oil, salt, and black pepper, spread on a baking sheet, and toast until deeply golden, fragrant and crispy, 8-12 minutes. (If after 12 minutes the texture is still weak or waxy, leave them in longer- when properly toasted they have superbly satisfying crunch.) Let cool, and then chop or crumble each into a few smaller pieces.
- Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
- Make the vinaigrette: finely mince the shallot and macerate with 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, macerated shallot, and maple syrup or honey with a little of the sherry vinegar. Add the olive oil in a slow drizzle to emulsify, alternating with the sherry vinegar. Adjust with salt and pepper.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and black pepper to coat.
- Set a large cast-iron skillet over high heat and wait until the pan is very hot to add oil, just to coat the bottom of the pan. Working in batches, place the Brussels sprouts in the pan, cut side down, and sear very hard until deeply caramelized on the flat side, then turn and get a kiss of color on the backside. Depending on the size of the sprouts, they may be fully cooked at this point (if they are very small), but they will likely need 5 to 15 minutes in the oven to finish cooking. Pull them when they are finished to your desired doneness (I love them both al dente and very tender.) Squeeze a lemon over the Brussels sprouts as they cool.
- (If you are preparing a large batch, individually searing can be unrealistic. Instead, put an empty baking sheet in a hot oven for 10 minutes before adding the Brussels sprouts: it should hold enough heat to give them some color when they hit. Don’t overcrowd the sheet; leave a little negative space for water to evaporate, which helps with browning.)
- To serve, drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with toasted walnuts and a few grinds of black pepper.
I will say, that my mother has been notoriously anti-brussels sprouts for her entire life. Her own mother (my grandmother) used to boil them and serve them as sad and mushy little balls, and my mother was made to eat them to get in her vegetable serving for the day. Because of this, we never had brussels sprouts growing up, and I didn’t try them until I was in my 20’s at which point I promptly fell in love with them.
I’ve been on a little crusade to convince my mother that brussels sprouts are actually delicious, and even though I’ve made them a few times in the past couple years for her roasted with a simple olive oil and salt and pepper situation, something magical happened this year. Mid-bite, my mother turned to me and said “Well, you finally did it. You’ve convinced me that brussels sprouts are actually delicious.” And what was even more surprising, is that my Aunt Jan, who was also similarly traumatized into hating brussels sprouts as a child, said the same thing.
So you heard it here, folks—these brussels sprouts are so damn good they can convert even lifetime brussels sprout haters into fans of this mighty and layered vegetable. If you’re wondering why these ones are so darn good, it’s because they’re seared in a pan to get perfectly crisp, and coated in a *bonkers* good mustard maple vinaigrette, and tossed with buttery and perfectly roasted walnuts. So thank you, Shauna, for showing my mother that brussels sprouts are actually delicious.
I hope you all try + enjoy this recipe, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas + Happy Hanukkah, my friends! I’ll be in touch one more time before the new decade with a little cocktail recipe to share with you all, talk soon and happy holidays!!