If you hated Brussels sprouts as a kid then you were probably a very smart child. But I urge you to reconsider as an adult. Brussels sprouts do not have to be bitter, nasty vegetables and a little bit of maple syrup is all that you need to make them a smash hit at dinnertime.
Roasting the sprouts will remove all of the bitterness and serving them in a kale salad gives this side dish a lot of texture and a whole lotta vitamins and yummy, green goodness. Maple syrup is actually a great addition to any roasted vegetable and a hint of cayenne adds an unexpected bite to the dish. Be sure to use pure maple syrup, none of that maple flavored stuff. It’s really well worth the price and so much better; I swear this is not just the New England-er in me talking. Try it and you’ll be convinced instantly.
And in case any of you were wondering, as Nick and I were, Brussels sprouts apparently originated in Brussels, Belgium and that’s how they got their name. I wish the story was more interesting… I was actually a bit disappointed in it myself, but that’s the way that it goes.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved and trimmed
- 1 tbsp plus 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp plus 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 head kale, finely sliced with large stems removed
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with 1 tbsp of olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Spread the sprouts out on a large cookie sheet face down and roast for 40 minutes. About halfway through, take them out and turn them over so that they get crispy and brown on all sides.
When the sprouts are finished roasting, transfer them back into the large bowl and toss them with 1 tbsp of maple syrup and the cayenne pepper and then add the kale to the sprouts.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of olive oil with balsamic vinegar, 1/8 cup of maple syrup, and dijon mustard. Add salt and pepper to the vinaigrette as necessary and dress the salad.