Don’t like Brussels sprouts? You’re not alone. I read somewhere that Brussels sprouts are the most disliked vegetable in all of America and Britain. As an American who is 46% British, I’d agree. They were my version of Dr. Suess’ Green Eggs & Ham.
“I would not like them
here or there.
I would not like them
I do not like
Then I discovered them at the farm market on the stalk. On the stalk. Suddenly Brussels sprouts seemed a bit intriguing to me. I wanted to find a way to like them. I knew they were packed with superhero-levels of nutrients like vitamins K1 and C, and I had a vision of serving them on the stalk, and of guests happily plucking the little cabbages themselves in true farm-to-table fashion. So I bought a stalk of Brussels sprouts.
This particular stalk was too big to fit into my hand-basket and I worried it wouldn’t fit inside of my oven – I bought it anyway. It also didn’t fit well in the market bag, so it rode home on the passenger seat of my car. I sideways-glanced at it every now and then – I think it was looking back at me too.
I was determined though. I was also correct that it wouldn’t properly fit on a pan in my oven. So I cut the beautiful stalk in half and trimmed most of the shoots from between the sprouts so it could lay flat (I left some on though as I thought they were kind of pretty), and removed the loose outer leaves from the sprouts. I generously lathered the stalk and sprouts in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. I sprinkled chopped shallots on top, in between, and under the stalk, and finished by lightly drizzling with balsamic vinegar. I was half-hopeful sliding the roasting tray into the oven and admittedly whispered, “don’t let me down.”
45 minutes later, I had tender, caramelized, delicately crisp & salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk.
It was absolutely delicious. In fact, I think I love them. Yes, love them. No awful sulfur taste. Instead these are rich and deep in flavor and the presentation on the stalk is truly magnificent.
I wanted to include a little something to dip them in, not that it needed it – and certainly not to compete with it. Only to add as an accompaniment, especially if serving as part of a vegetable display which I anticipated I might do with the upcoming holidays. I mixed 1/2 cup of sour cream with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise and seasoned with salt and pepper. I scraped-up the pan drippings, including the roasted shallots that had fallen to the bottom of the pan, all sticky and delicious from the reduced balsamic, and added them to the dip mixture too. Oh.my.goodness. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it did.
It’s your turn now. You’re welcome.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk
1 Brussels sprout stalk, remove shoots and any unsightly or loose outer leaves (If necessary, cut in half to fit pan)
1 large or 2 small shallots, chopped
Olive oil, about 1/4 cup
Salt & pepper
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/2 cup of sour cream
Salt and pepper
Reserved pan drippings (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.;
- Line a large roasting pan (with rimmed edges) with parchment paper;
- Rinse stalk well and pat dry;
- Generously massage or brush olive oil all over the sprouts and stalk, season well with salt and pepper;
- Sprinkle chopped shallots over and under stalk;
- Lightly drizzle balsamic vinegar over stalk;
- Cook for 45 minutes, turning a third of the way every 15 minutes, until tender and sprouts can be easily pierced with a fork (ovens vary, could take a few minutes longer) ;
- While the stalk is roasting, prepare the dip. Mix together mayonnaise and sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep in refrigerator until ready;
- After stalk has been roasted, remove from oven and set aside;
- Scrape-up some of the pan drippings, especially the roasted bits of shallots and add to dip mixture. Stir well to incorporate. Serve dip with roasted Brussels sprouts.
You can cut the sprouts off the stalk before serving, but I say keep them on! Not only does it make an amazing presentation, but you can give your guests a little farm-to-table experience by having them cut their own pieces from the stalk! Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife and cut closer to the sprout as close to the stalk is often too fibrous.