Probably the single most hated vegetable in the world is the Brussels sprout.  It doesn’t even sound delicious.  Say it out loud.  I know you just curled your top lip up, sneered a little, and mumbled “Brussels sprout” under your breath in what can only be described as your least enthusiastic voice.  Shippy, shippy shame.

But honestly, who doesn’t do that?  They’re an underrated, under-appreciated, underutilized vegetable.  And, I discovered on Sunday, they’re delicious.  I’ll admit it: I let the bad rap influence my feelings on them.  I never wanted to try them.  I like enough different kinds of vegetables, I thought, why do I need to eat any more?  Um, because you love food?  Because you enjoy trying new things?  Because ocassionally you try to eat heathfully? Because, if you don’t at least try them, you’re enormously hypocritical?

Good points, self.  All good points.

So when Mom roasted them up on Sunday night with some potatoes, squash, parsnips, and red onions, I took a big scoop of all of the vegetables – except the Brussels sprouts.  And life might’ve continued on with no one the wiser, but Mom called me out on it.  So I had to take some brussel sprouts.  Even Boyfriend’s avid assertions from across the table did nothing to persuade me that they would be tasty because, let’s face it – the boy eats anything and his opinion is not always to be trusted. 

But, lo and behold, I enjoyed my first Brussels sprout.  And my second.  So much so, in fact, that I made the exact same roasted vegetable dish the next night for dinner.  Tossed with a little olive oil and some fresh herbs, these vegetables are the kind of winter dish that screams comfort food without screaming expanding waistline in the same sentence.  Because we can’t always be eating gnocchi and empanadas for dinner, now can we?

Roasted Winter Vegetables

Try to cut all of the vegetables in some sort of uniform thickness so that everything is done around the same time – otherwise you’ll have some raw veggies and some burned veggies. 

1 potato

1 sweet potato

1 red onion

1 parsnip

5 Brussels sprouts

1/2 zucchini

1/2 yellow squash

Olive oil

2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed from the stems

2-3 springs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems

Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Cut all of the vegetables into big chunks, and dump them into a clear baking dish.  Drizzle some olive oil over all the veggies, season with salt and pepper, then toss them to coat all the sides.  Sprinkle herbs on top, then roast, stirring/tossing ocassionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender (about 45 minutes or so). 

Or you can use my method of deciding doneness: bite into the steaming vegetable and run around the kitchen fanning your mouth and whining that you burnt your tongue.  The choice is yours.

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