I remember sitting in my grandmother’s tiny urban apartment in the shadows of New York City for a holiday meal. Her brother had come in from Brooklyn and he sat next to me at the table, talking about his days as a clown, and trying to convince me he went to college for such a thing (I didn’t learn until later that it was a real thing). But the thing I remember most about Uncle George was he used to help me slide my Brussels sprouts to him under a napkin.
Each time my grandmother would get up from the table, a few more of the sulfurous little round balls would magically disappear from my plate and onto my great uncle’s. I hated them. They were slimy and smelly and tasted like what I thought a goose smelled like (hey, I was like 9). But if you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know I now have an obsession with them. Once I learned they had to be cooked properly in order not to smell like a swamp, and they became a staple. It’s almost like a fun game for me to see how many different ways I can make a vegetable I so hated growing up.
This time I paired the Brussels sprouts with butter nut squash, walnuts, and dried cranberries and braised them in the oven. The soft sweet squash was an awesome match to the earthy sprouts and the nuts stayed crunchy, adding a nice fall/winter flavor. These do need to cook a while – as the broth cooks them and evaporates, it caramelizes the onions, softens the sprouts and braises them perfectly.
Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Squash and Walnuts
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved
- 1 c. sweet onion, sliced
- 2 c. butternut squash, cubed
- 1/2 c. walnuts
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries
- 1 c. beef stock
- 1 tsp. garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. honey (drizzle)
- 2 tbsp fat of choice ( I used pastured butter)
- In a 13X9 inch baking dish, add sprouts, onion, squash, walnuts, cranberries and garlic
- Sprinkle the onion powder and salt over the top and stir.
- Drizzle over a small amount of honey (~1 tsp)
- Pour the beef stock over the veggies.
- Cut up the butter into small squares and place around the dish. If you want to use oil, just drizzle it over the top.
- Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes, stirring when you can, until all the stock is evaporated and the sprouts and squashed cooked through.