Monday, February 21, 2011

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots w/ “Candied” Hazelnuts

It’s your last chance to get good brussels sprouts before the season ends. This recipe is simple, and of course the oven will warm up the kitchen. Although the hazelnuts aren’t absolutely necessary, they are surprisingly delicious. I don’t typically like nuts in my salads and veggies, but these were crunchy and sweet and ended up being my favorite part of the dish.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Carrots w/ “Candied” Hazelnuts
about 1.5 lbs brussels sprouts
3 carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
2 Tbsps olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp fresh black pepper (optional)
1.5 Tbsps high quality maple syrup*
2 tsps marsala cooking wine
¼-½ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped or broken into smaller pieces
canola spray, such as Trader Joe’s brand
1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.

2. Prepare brussels sprouts by soaking in warm water for ten minutes to flush out any crawlies. (For more prep info, such as instructions on removing the sprouts from their stem, see this earlier post.) Drain, remove stems, discard any yellow or discolored leaves, and cut in half.

3. In a large mixing bowl add brussels sprouts, carrots, olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss until well coated. Pour the mixture onto a large baking sheet and set mixing bowl aside (you’ll use it again later!). The sugars in the wine and syrup tend to make a mess of baking pans, so feel free to use parchment paper or foil. I also use a little canola oil spray.

4. Roast the brussels for 15 minutes, then stir. Roast another 15 minutes, remove tray from oven and return mix to bowl, add the maple syrup, marsala wine, and hazelnut pieces. Toss well and return to pan. Return to oven and continuing roasting for another 15-20 minutes—the brussels sprouts should emerge tender. The sugars caramelize on the hazelnuts, leaving them with a candy-like coating.

* This is not the time to save a buck and pick up some Aunt Jemimah. You’ll want to buy grade A or B maple syrup, which can be a bit pricey depending on the brand, but a little goes a long way.

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