Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes

Roasted Brussels sprouts and grapes

A Trip to Chualar

Brussels sprouts on stalk

“I thought we’d go for a little trip.”

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

Inspiration

The fields of Brussels sprouts growing just south of Salinas in Chualar were splashed with giant drops of morning dew. Green, glinting of silver with crevasses of navy blue shadows, a forest of broad leaves hid the sprouts from view. Watching the morning fog climb over the tips of the Santa Lucia’s Athena and I were given a tour of Taylor Farms Brussels sprouts fields. When standing in the furrows, the tops of the Brussels sprouts plants reached our thighs. Sheltered by thick broad leaves the sprouts grow on the plants main stalk. The individual sprouts can not be seen until the dark green leaves are moved to reveal the central stem of the plant. The sprouts at the bottom of the plant mature first; necessitating several passes by the harvesting crews as the sprouts mature. The sample of Taylor Farms trimmed and washed Brussels sprouts I brought home was a pleasure to cook with. Fresh, bright green and with virtually no prep required I began my sprouts cooking adventure. Cooking with fresh Salinas Valley produce has never been easier!

Brussels sprouts field in Chualar, California

Essentials

My failproof method for cooking Brussels sprouts is roasting with olive oil, salt and pepper. When vegetables are roasted they are transformed from the mundane to the sublime. All the strongest flavored vegetables, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and even radicchio taste more vivid and yet amazingly sweet when roasted. I had read about roasting Brussels sprouts with grapes but had not tried the recipe. I was searching for a vegetable recipe that had enough flavor and glamour to stand beside a holiday turkey, ham or roast and its’ army of side dishes without scoops of butter, cream or cheese. Taking second helpings, my taste testers were seduced by the combination of creamy Brussels sprouts with crispy edges paired with the sublime pop of sweetness from the roasted grapes. This is a sure sign that Brussels sprouts have found a place at our holiday feast. With only two tablespoons of olive oil the recipe is not loaded with calories and the flavor integrity of the sprouts and grapes is intensified by roasting. Dappled in red and green this sweet and sassy vegetable dish would be an excellent choice for a Christmas feast.

Brussels sprouts leaves

Freshly-cut Brussels sprouts

Fresh Brussels sprouts are compact and bright green without withered or yellow leaves. The freshest sprouts are still white and green at the base where the sprout was severed from the plant. If the base has turned light brown, just trim off that portion.

Ingredients
1lb Brussels sprouts
1lb large red seedless grapes
2T olive oil
1/2t salt
1/4t pepper
1t fennel seed, crushed or roughly chopped

Brussels sprouts and red grapes

  1. Heat the oven to 425°. Line a large sheet pan with parchment or oil the pan.
  2. Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthwise, through the core. After cutting they should be roughly the same size as the grapes.
  3. In a large bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, whole seedless grapes, olive oil, salt, pepper and fennel seed. Toss to coat the Brussels sprouts and grapes with the oil and spices.
  4. Spread the sprouts and grapes in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the sprouts and grapes. Return them to the oven to finish roasting. When cooked the sprouts can be easily pierced with a fork. They will be caramelized with a deep chocolate color on the edges. The grapes will shrink a bit, the flavor becoming concentrated while softening in color. Serve while warm.

Brussels sprouts on stalks

Brussels sprouts field

This is not a sponsored post. The opinions are my own. I was given some tasty Brussels sprouts to share with you.

This entry was posted in Cooking, Holidays & Entertaining, Vegetables and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes

  1. Claire says:

    There is something amazing about fields and fields of crops growing ever fainter in the distance. Your photos are a treat for this cold and rather damp Brit! Mind you for practically the first time ever it seems my attempts at growing Brussel Sprouts is going to pay off, not a bumper crop but certainly a few meals. And I now know one of the way I will be cooking them – roasting !! Thank you :)

  2. I love brussel sprouts and am always on the lookout for new recipes. Pairing with grapes is a first! I look forward to trying this.

  3. I agree that roasting makes everything really good. I never tasted brussel sprouts so fresh, lucky you! They sound amazing with grapes, and funny how when you remove the leaves they look a bit like clusters of grapes. I read about them being used shaved in a salad, without cooking.

    • Deb says:

      I haven’t tried the Brussels sprouts raw in a salad yet, but I imagine they would be similar to cabbage. Thank you for commenting Paula!

  4. Carol Sacks says:

    I’m always so absorbed by your photos and your prose pulls me right in. I’m intrigued by the idea of grapes and brussels roasted together. Must try this!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you so much for your fabulous comment Carol! The recipe is irresistible, I wish I would have tried it sooner!

  5. I adore roasted vegetables and recently I’ve developed an appreciate for brussels sprouts so these are certainly appealing! Beautiful photos of the fertile valley.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Laura! Roasting Brussels sprouts is my favorite way to prepare them. Pairing them with sweet red grapes is just fantastic!

  6. I love roasted brussels sprouts and think your combination with the grapes sounds terrific.

  7. I have never seen what brussels sprouts looked like when they were growing – thanks for sharing those photos! I would have gone through life thinking they just appeared in my fridge like magic. The best part, though…grapes?! What a genius idea. I’ve made brussels sprouts every week so far since they’ve come back into season, and while I’m not sick of roasting them on their own just yet, I think that this recipe looks refreshing and fun – maybe it would go well with a glass of bubbly? :)

    • Deb says:

      Oh my goodness! If you are fond of Brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try! We loved it! Thanks for commenting Sydney.

  8. Rosa says:

    That is one of my favorite vegetables. It is so delicious and versatile. This dish looks and sounds wonderful. What a great combination.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  9. Oh Deb, you painted a wonderful pictures of the sprouts and the fields, with you standing knee high in them. Words are such delight when woven with the food stories you tell so well. Brussel sprouts and fresh cranberries, Meyer lemons and a HUGE tub of Philadelphia cheese are going back with me! thanks for sharing and proclaiming the virtues of roasted veggies!

  10. Oh gosh, Deb, what a delicious dish. Brussel sprouts are indeed versatile and oh-so-yummy when prepared properly! (we need to dissuade people from their bad reputation!) Beautiful work here, as always…

  11. Tiffany says:

    Brussels are one of my favorite veggies and I am always looking for new ways to prepare them. These look amazing! I bet the grapes add a nice sweetness that cuts the BS’ bitterness. Fantastic!

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