YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Roasted Brussels Sprouts Celebration

If you love sweet, and who doesn’t?!, then you are going to love this recipe! Roasted Brussels sprouts and fennel actually become sweet by a process called caramelization, which happens during the roasting process. That sweet flavor continues to linger in your mouth in a delicious and satisfying way, and it makes this a fantastic dish for a special occasion like New Years Eve. All the work of this recipe is in the vegetable prep, by the way, and after that it’s relatively hands-off. So if you can find a partner to help get the veggies ready, it goes even faster.

One weekend a couple of years ago, my youngest brought home a large group of friends from college, and Friday night dinner included a large bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts. I still remember the joyful look on the face of the 19-year-old to my left as he heaped seconds on his plate and begged us for the recipe. “You don’t understand,” he said. “I don’t usually eat things like this (vegetables? Brussels sprouts? green food? I thought) but I have got to know how to make this.” That’s quite a testimonial coming from a 19-year-old boy. So be prepared to be delighted!

I recommend that you check the roasting vegetables about halfway through, and then a couple of times close to the end to make sure they don’t get overdone. Also, each time you check, shake the pan around for a second or two to keep the veggies roasting evenly.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. (about 6 cups) Brussels sprouts with stalk ends trimmed off, rinsed
  • 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushroom caps, rinsed and sliced thickly
  • 1 large fennel bulb
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. each fresh tarragon and rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice all the Brussels sprouts in half through their bases, and mix with shallots, garlic and mushrooms in a large bowl. Cut away the dry root end from the fennel, and then slice the bulb very thinly, width-wise. Add to Brussels sprouts and other vegetables, and toss with oil, vinegar, tarragon, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Empty into a 9×12 glass or ceramic baking dish. Roast uncovered 50 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serves 6-8 depending. You know your gang.

Original recipe? Thank Terry Walters and Clean Food. Yes, yes, yes!

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