When dinnertime rolls around I am usually thinking about the timing of it as I need to stop what I am doing and pick up my husband from the train station. It’s not far to the station…only 7 or so minutes but I don’t like to leave the stove on whilst I am away. John is usually hungry when he gets off the train and I like to have something ready for him to nibble on while dinner is being prepped. This recipe got me thinking that it would be a perfect starter instead of serving it with dinner. The sprouts came out of the oven a few minutes before I had to leave and I placed them on a platter and covered the dish with clingfilm. When we got home, the snack was ready for consumption! Roasting these miniature cabbages brings out the brussels sprouts true taste – mild in flavor, dense in texture and delicious!.
Fresh brussels sprouts should be displayed chilled and if they are kept at room temperature, their leaves will turn yellow quickly. Yellow or wilted leaves are signs of age or mishandling. Old sprouts also have a strong, cabbage-like odor. Choose sprouts individually from bulk displays rather than packaged containers and pick small, firm, compact sprouts with unblemished leaves. Select ones that are similar in size as this will allow for even cooking and avoid sprouts that are puffy or soft. For a list of health benefits associated with brussels sprouts, click here.
Serves 4 (as a side)
adapted from Anna Costa
20 brussels sprouts, cut into wedges
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium, very fresh garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
To make the aioli, fill a mortar with boiling water. After 1 minute, remove the water and dry the mortar. Add the garlic cloves and the salt. Start pounding them with the pestle. When a smooth paste is achieved, add the egg yolk. Moving the pestle rapidly against the walls of the mortar, blend the yolk together with the garlic. When blended, begin adding the olive oil in a thin stream, still moving the pestle rapidly against the walls of the mortar. Continue until all the olive oil is added and a thick mayonnaise is achieved. Add water if necessary, if you like it thinner. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate up to 5 days.
Preheat oven to 200c (400f). Place brussels sprouts on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with sea salt & pepper to taste. Move the brussels sprouts around to ensure they all get nicely coated in the oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown on at least one side.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: If you are running short on time (like I was), a quick way to make aioli is to mix some mayonnaise with minced garlic and a bit of lemon juice to thin out the mayo. Top with finely grated lemon zest. Eat these wedges warm or room temperature. YUM!