Oh, Brussels sprouts. How I love thee! It’s a tough call, but I think Brussels sprouts are the best cold-weather vegetable (broccoli rabe is a close second). There are so many ways to prepare them, but the classic boiling method is probably my least favorite—and also probably the reason why a lot of kids think Brussels sprouts are gross. The best way to make them? Pan-roasted.
I’m not going to lie, this recipe has a whole bunch of sugar and fat in it and probably a gazillion calories. I don’t care, though—there’s a time and place for junk food Brussels sprouts, and holed up after a hurricane is definitely it. Jen and I are both maple freaks, so I made this for lunch one day when she was visiting. Oh man, SO GOOD. I can’t stop thinking about it. Jen has now started using the word “maple” as a verb, so this recipe is named accordingly. The Brussels sprouts have been mapled.
I served the sprouts alongside a slice of Celebration Roast, a grain-based roast stuffed with butternut squash, mushrooms and apples. I really like the whole Field Roast line of products, by the way, especially the grain sausages. I don’t really think of them as a “meat substitute”—they’re kind of their own thing. Definitely recommended.
Mapled Brussels Sprouts (vegan)
2 lbs Brussels sprouts
3 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil (any oil that can handle high heat is fine)
Kosher salt and fresh pepper
2 tbsp Earth Balance or other vegan butter (coconut oil would also be OK, but it will affect the taste)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Put the oil in a large, cast iron pan over medium-high heat. While it’s warming up, wash and trim the Brussels sprouts. I like to cut the end off, remove any weird-looking outer leaves, and then slice them lengthwise. It goes quickly with two people.
When the oil is good and hot, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan along with some salt and pepper. Toss quickly to coat, turn the heat up a bit, and then leave everything alone for a few minutes. The sprouts should get nice and brown and even charred a bit.
Add the Earth Balance and the brown sugar and slowly stir. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the maple syrup, and let everything get roasty for 10-ish minutes (more or less depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts) until tender. You want the sugars to caramelize, but if the pan is looking too dry you can add a couple of table spoons of water and stir gently. Add the vinegar and cool a minute or so more.
Once the Brussels sprouts are looking fully mapled, serve!!