This is by far the simplest recipe I’ve shared on this blog. It is so simple that it barely has measurements and it only has 5 ingredients! This recipe was created out of pure hunger. One day last week, I was super hungry and the refrigerator was nearly bare. So, after rummaging through the kitchen, I found some Brussels sprouts and a small hunk of almost-forgotten-about Spanish chorizo. I threw in some chopped red onion and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and voila! an easy and delicious side dish! If you have some Spanish chorizo on-hand, definitely give it a try. I say “Spanish chorizo” because it is a completely different product than the Mexican fresh chorizo that you typically find in the grocery store. Spanish chorizo is cured and has a firm texture, like aged salami. The chorizo, while completely optional, brings a little bit of heat to the dish and it really does have an amazing flavor. The balsamic vinegar heightens the caramelization of the Brussels sprouts and gives it a wonderful sweetness. I’m proud to say that I have converted quite a few Brussels Sprouts Haters to fans, so I hope you’ll give them a try even if you thought you hated them before!
Brussels sprouts never fail to spark a little conversation. Seems either folks love them or hate them, but frankly, I think they unfairly get bad press due in part to bad childhood memories. Oddly, I was never in the camp of Brussels Sprouts Haters–the first time I had them as a child, I didn’t mind them, which is really saying something because back in the 1970s, people did horrible things to Brussels sprouts–namely boiling them to death, which made them very, very bad indeed. Still, even boiled to death, I could see in my little kid mind that these baby cabbages (as I called them) had promise. I think above anything else, I thought they looked cool and it seemed like a very grown-up thing to eat. Growing up, they didn’t appear too often on our family’s table–my younger brothers, for one, would never touch them, but over the past few years, I’ve rediscovered them–each fall, tweaking the recipe a bit and coming up with different ways to make them. Previous Thanksgivings, I have separated the leaves and sautéed them with bacon or pancetta and onions (which is amazing). Earlier this year, we experimented with grilling them. These days, I’ve been making them just a few ingredients and roasting them in a hot oven. I find that roasting them at a high temperature really brings out their sweetness.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
You will need:
1 pound of Brussels Sprouts
1 ounce chorizo, chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
Trim the bottoms of the sprouts and remove any leaves that are ugly or discolored. Slice the sprouts in half (or in fourths if they are very large). Combine all three ingredients in a large mixing bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. If you are using a thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar or a balsamic reduction, use a little less–about 1 tablespoon.
Spread the Brussels sprouts in a shallow baking pan and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the Brussels Sprouts are tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.
That’s it! How easy is that for a side dish? I think this is a definite keeper for Thanksgiving this year.