The Best. It’s a bold statement, right? To say something is the BEST you’ve ever tasted. People throw the phrase around too loosely and apply it to things that simply don’t deserve such high praise. “This is the best corn dog I have EVER tasted!” “Have you tried this burger! Best burger ever!” “OMG, this cheese may be the BEST CHEESE EVER.” And we all know that the chances of that corn dog, burger, or piece of cheese being the BEST EVER are pretty slim.
I feel like the word “best” is losing the grip on it’s definition. So when I say something is the best I’ve ever tasted, I really want to mean it. So, here goes:
I’m pretty sure these are the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever tasted.
My friend Karen introduced me to this recipe last year and it’s the only way I ever want to eat Brussels sprouts anymore. When I serve these to friends, they often approach the dish with reservation. Brussels sprouts? Anchovies? Honey? Say wha?! But my FAVORITE part is watching them taste their first bite. That’s all it takes. The flavor of the golden roasted Brussels sprouts paired with the salty, briny, slightly sweet vinaigrette and crunchy walnuts is genius. It just…works.
Roasted Brussels sprouts has been at our family’s holiday table for many years. But this year, I’m going to introduce this new twist on the old family favorite. And I can’t wait to watch them take their first bite!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Anchovies, and Walnuts
(Recipe courtesy of Karen Wilken)
- 3 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (or a grainy mustard)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 tablespoons anchovy paste (or one 2-ounce tin of anchovies, drained and minced)
(1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the walnuts on a shallow baking sheet or pie plate and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Once cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
(2) In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the Brussels sprouts on to large, shallow rimmed baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes, tossing with a spatula halfway through cooking. They should be golden and charred in some spots.
(3) In the same large bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, and honey. Slowly whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add the capers, garlic, shallots, and anchovy paste. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as necessary. Add the sprouts and the walnuts, toss well and serve.