New Orleanians love fresh vegetables. And thanks to the City’s fertile soil and subtropical climate, there’s a huge variety of beautiful vegetables available year-round. They’re served traditionally as salads and side dishes. But they also make frequent appearances as sassy appetizers and sumputuous meat-and-seafood-stuffed entrees. Some are even cleverly transformed into dreamy desserts. Because they’re so plentiful, home cooks are always looking for new and creative ways to serve them. And it’s always a great accomplishment to prepare an otherwise frowned upon veggie in a can’t-get-enough-of-it way. That’s what happened with me and Brussels sprouts. I used to boil and butter them. But that dish did not appeal to my hubby and kids. In an attempt to get my clan to eat Brussels sprouts and reap all their health benefits, I started roasting these little cabbages with olive oil and Kosher salt. By making that simple change, I was able to coax sweeter and nuttier flavors from them. My girls were hooked. The guys? Not so much. So I took the roasted Brussels sprouts one step further by coating them in this warm fig vinaigrette that I usually serve over arugula. That fruity and tangy dressing was all I needed to get my entire family to jump on the Brussels sprouts bandwagon. Hope you’re just as lucky!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Warm Fig Vinaigrette Recipe
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 to 3/4 cup Warm Fig Vinaigrette, see recipe
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove and discard any brown or yellow outer leaves from Brussels sprouts; cut each in half lengthwise. Place Brussels sprouts in baking dish; toss with olive oil and salt. Roast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown on the outside and tender on the inside, 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish, toss with desired amount of Warm Fig Vinaigrette and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Warm Fig Vinaigrette Recipe
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fig preserves
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; cook, shaking pan occasionally, until golden brown. Transfer butter, including brown bits from bottom of pan, to a food processor. Combine sugar, wine vinegar and fig preserves in the same pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved. Add to food processor and process until blended. With machine running, add oil in a steady stream; process until mixture is emulsified and thick. Add balsamic vinegar; process for 30 more seconds. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Recipe for vinaigrette from From Emeril’s Kitchens