|by Carol Peterman||Print-friendly page|
Not everyone is a fan of burssels sprouts, but I for one love them. I especially like them roasted because they develop a nice crunchy caramelized crust around the outside. I think my fond feelings for this often scoffed at vegetable stems from my childhood. My mother would serve us kids brussles sprouts and call them Barbie cabbages. We ate them right up! Sometimes it's all about marketing.
20 brussels sprouts
30 pearl onions
2 slices of thick bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. caraway seeds, whole
1/2 tsp. juniper berries, ground
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Trim the bottom of the sprouts, peel off the dark outer leaves, and cut an X in the stem end. Bring a 3 qt. pot of water to boil and add 2 tsp. of salt to the water. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside. Add the brussels sprouts to the boiling water and simmer uncovered for 4-5 minutes. Remove the brussels sprouts from the boiling water and place in the ice water to cool for 3-4 minutes. Scoop the brussels sprouts from the ice water, drain and dry them.
Add the pearl onions to the pot of boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes then remove them to the ice water. Once the onions are cool enough to touch, drain them. Cut the root end off and peel the outer papery layer off and pat them dry. (This can be done one day ahead, store the brussels sprouts and onions in the refrigerator).
Slice the brussels sprouts in half and place in a medium-sized bowl along with the onions. Mix in the olive oil, caraway seeds, juniper, unpeeled garlic cloves, diced bacon, as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Spread the vegetables out on a sheet pan and place in a hot oven to roast. After 15-20 minutes give the vegetables a stir and return to the oven for 10-15 minutes more until they are nicely browned and cooked through.
Remove the pan from the oven and collect the unpeeled garlic cloves. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the papery shell into a mixing bowl. Using a whisk mash the roasted garlic into a paste and whisk in the sherry vinegar. Add the brussels sprouts and onions and toss to coat. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.