Produce displays in the supermarket reflect the changing season. Tomatoes and sweet corn have moved aside to make room for fall vegetables such as hard-skinned squash, cabbage, cauliflower and greens.
Brussels sprouts are part of the mix, and these mini cabbages also turn up on the Thanksgiving table. They can be prepared with savory ingredients such as bacon and chestnuts or mixed with raisins or cranberries for a sweet approach.
To save time during Thanksgiving preparations, clean and cook the sprouts a day or two ahead of serving. Before cooking, rinse the sprouts thoroughly. Trim any browned or blemished outer leaves, and cut off the tip of the stem. Depending on the size, cut the sprouts in half or quarters for bite-sized pieces.
Steaming or braising are options, but roasting brings out their sweetness. To make Cranberry and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts in advance, clean, cook and refrigerate them. When ready to serve, reheat the cooked Brussels sprouts in the microwave or give them a quick turn in a skillet and toss them with the cranberries, balsamic vinegar and seasonings.
4 cups Brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the cut Brussels sprouts in a large mixing bowl with the olive oil, paprika, curry powder and kosher salt. Mix well. Transform the Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Stir the sprouts to roast evenly and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes or until sprouts are browned nicely.
While the sprouts are roasting, mix together the dried cranberries, balsamic vinegar and honey in a large mixing bowl. When the sprouts are browned, add them to the mixing bowl and toss with the cranberries mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. Makes 6 to 8 portions