Two crazy things I saw on the trail while hiking yesterday?
1. A lonely and wilted leaf of radicchio.
2. A lady in stilettos. Hiking.
Neither of which belonged there.
Brussels sprouts, walnuts and balsamic vinegar don't belong on a hiking trail either but they certainly belong together and I can't believe I'm just discovering this now.
I've gotten super creative lately, sprucing up my go-to dishes and mixing everything up. Sometimes it's not so great but this may have been a stroke of genius!
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Walnuts
serves 3 (easily adaptable for more/less servings)
a few big handfuls brussels sprouts
1/4 cup walnuts
evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
freshly cracked black pepper
high-quality balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 350F. Toast the walnuts on a baking sheet for about 7 minutes. Be careful to not let them burn--it happens fast. You know they're done when you can smell their toasty goodness. Chop them when they're cool enough to handle and then turn up the oven to 425F.
Meanwhile, trim and chop your sprouts. Cut off the end, remove the outer leaves and cut into little wedges. I had some serious mack daddies that needed to be wedged into sixths, but normally quartering is sufficient. (Tip: when you're quartering, go through the core so all the layers mostly stay together.) Throw them onto a baking sheet, drizzle with the evoo, salt and pepper and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Roast for about 15-18 minutes without moving them at all--let them develop that caramelized brown side. Then flip them and roast for 5 more minutes. I like it when they get super brown and some of the leaves get scorched but finish them to your liking.
After removing them from the oven, toss into a bowl with the walnuts, some more sea salt and a good drizzle of balsamic to your taste.
Even Maria (who can be a bit critical at times) liked them!