In Which Tiny Cabbages Derail My Plans: Truffled Brussels Sprouts

Sometimes, plans change. For example, I had every expectation of using this space to tell you all about the trials, tribulations, and, dare I say it, wild successes of making Meyer lemon marmalade. Lemarmalade, if you will. However: then I made dinner tonight…and it was like, marmawhat? MarmaNOTHING. (sidenote: I don’t really mean marmanothing. I’ll do the marmalade next. It’s totally effing worth it and canning is amazing and I have been thinking of making it in bulk and selling it because it is that effing good. For serious. But tonight isn’t for marma. It’s for this.)

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Tonight was one of those times where I was like, Okay. I have a salad (Mixed greens, balsamic vinagrette, toasted walnuts, blueberries, and some brilliantly smooth Stilton). I have a dessert (Jacques Torres caramel corn and brown butter pecan ice cream). And I have a main course (seared chicken with a ginger/garlic/scallion/soy/lime/cream sauce that will make you cry cry cry). But I don’t have a vegetabley sidesy thing. What to do? So I went with a standard favorite: Brussels sprouts. But then I started thinking about what else could get thrown on top. And then what could go on top of that. And on top of that. And before I knew it, I’d taken my standard roasted Brussels sprouts and elevated them into…well, into this:

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The char on the outside of the sprouts is balanced by an internal, supremely tender sweetness — but that’s what you’d get with any roasted Brussels sprouts recipe. Where this really brings the wow is with 1) the smoky shards of toasted almond, 2) the salty crisp of blistered Parmigiano, and 3) the absolutely melting unctuousness and sheer sex appeal of white truffle oil. This isn’t an every day vegetable recipe, I admit. But next time you need to impress a boss, or some inlaws maybe, and you want an absolutely effortless showstopper, remember this. One eyes-rolling-into-the-back-of-my-head bite later, and I knew that I had to write this up tonight. Lemarmalade can wait another few days. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have about one forkful of leftover that I can smell from here, and I’m going to go eat it up. Raarrrhh.

Truffled Brussels Sprouts

30 Brussels sprouts
good olive oil
kosher salt
coarse-cracked black pepper
1/3 c sliced almonds
1/3 c shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano
few drops of white truffle oil

  1. Trim the ends from the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half.
  2. Toss the sprouts with a generous coating of olive oil, salt, pepper, and the almonds.
  3. Lay the sprouts out on a cookie sheet, cut side down, and bake at 400F for 35 minutes.
  4. When 10 minutes remain in the baking time, sprinkle the gently-browning sprouts with the Parmigiano, and leave to finish baking. The cheese will have just enough time to melt, crisp, and crackle on top.
  5. Tumble the whole pile of succulently tender Brussels sprouts, almonds, and splintered cheese together, and plate up.
  6. For absolute decadence, top each serving with a few drops of white truffle oil.
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