The other day I ran into Trader Joe’s for a few quick things, and I saw something that literally stopped me dead in my tracks. I did a double, and then a triple-take before circling the display table, and then reaching out to make sure they were real. And they were…
The most beautiful, massively huge stalks of Brussels sprouts I had ever seen, with the most perfect, small, tender sized sprouts I’d ever seen.
I know, I really need more of a life, if that’s all it takes to take my breath away. The thing is, we don’t usually have those at the regular grocery store. Brussels sprouts are hardly, if ever, available on the stalk like that, and now that I’m describing this, it really makes me realize I need some more excitement in my life.
Brussels sprouts are one of those love ‘em or hate ‘em vegetables. Most people hate them because they have memories of them being boiled to death, and smelling up the house. The trick is to roast them, so they get a little bit (or a lot) crispy and caramelized, and then they are actually kind of sweet and crunchy/crispy. They’re also one of the healthiest of vegetables, because they fall into the cruciferous category, which have lots of cancer fighting phytochemicals.
I thought they would go really nicely with the delicate squash I had on hand, and a drizzle of balsamic syrup, and I was right. Toss in some fresh cranberries for color and tang, and this is a perfect vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving.
If you haven’t tried delicate squash, please DO! It’s sweeter and milder than butternut, and it has a nice, soft skin, so it’s easy to cut. The skin softens so nicely when it’s roasted, that you don’t even know it’s there, so no need to trim it.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving veggie side dish?