March 6, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Finally. I know I teased you for far too long. I really didn't think that many people cared about Brussels sprouts (Did you catch my rant about that "s" in Brussels sprout? Still can't say it.) But that molten brownie was worth it, right? Did you try it?

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

It took me a long time to come around and try Brussels sprouts as an adult. I don't know if I ate them as a kid, but if I did, I can guarantee they were boiled or some other way to make sprouts not-at-all appetizing. (No offense, Mom.) Oven or pan roasted is definitely the way to go when learning to love Brussels sprouts. I'm a big fan of roasting them in the oven. It's quick and easy and really hard to mess up. If you don't like Brussels sprouts -- though you can't say that until you've had them roasted and you've tried them at least 10 times -- then stick around and make the vinaigrette. It's great on a salad as well. (And yes, you can use a regular lemon.)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

I wanted to try something different, so I tossed the freshly roasted sprouts with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette. I enjoyed it warm or cold. Meyer lemons sound like something only used in a fine dining meal, don't they? Actually, at one time that was the case. So if you thought a Meyer lemon was a lemon you can only find at a Meijer store, it's understandable. (Don't worry, sister, I won't tell anyone.) I shared on the Facebook page several weeks ago that I found Meyer lemons at Walmart. I know people have strong opinions about Walmart, on both sides. But I shop there maybe once a month because...well, I can find some cheap stuff -- like Meyer lemons and grass-fed butter and even good quality olive oil. So, if you shop at Walmart, check out the produce for Meyer lemons. They might have them at Meijer too. But I don't know anything about that. I'll ask my sister.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
serves 3-4 printable recipe
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

What you need: 

1 lb Brussels sprouts
1-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or other fat/oil)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Meyer lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows)

How to make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash Brussels sprouts, cut off the bottom ends and remove loose leaves. (Save leaves for chips.) Cut sprouts in half or quarters (if sprouts are large) and place in roasting pan, baking sheet, or cast iron skillet. Add coconut oil (enough to lightly coat them) and vinegar. Toss the sprouts to evenly coat them. Add salt and pepper to taste, but salt generously (about 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt). Roast for 15-30 minutes, stirring them after about 10 minutes. Remove from oven when sprouts are tender and crispy and golden on the outside. Serve as is or dump sprouts in a bowl and add 1/4 cup (or to taste) of the Meyer lemon vinaigrette (recipe below). Toss to evenly coat with vinaigrette. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.

What the heck is a Meyer lemon anyway? Basically it's a hybrid between a lemon and a mandarin orange. Therefore, the Meyer lemon is less acidic and has a sweeter taste than a regular lemon. Some guy discovered them in China, brought them to the US and slapped his last name on them. Frank Meyer was his name. We are fortunate that his last name was Meyer and not Brown. Not sure how many people would want to eat a Brown lemon. So now when you make this for people, you can put on your fanciest voice and say, "Oh, it's just roasted Brussels sprouts with a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette." Sounds fancy, right? No boring old lemons here (don't worry, you can use those).

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Vinaigrette
Meyer Lemon & Thyme Vinaigrette

What you need:

1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar (optional)
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme (or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried)
salt to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

How to Make:

Jar: Add all ingredients to a jar with tight lid and shake until emulsified. Adjust to taste, adding more oil or lemon juice as needed. Shake again before each use.

Bowl: Mix all ingredients except oil in a bowl. Drizzle in the oil, whisking quickly to emulsify. Adjust to taste, adding more oil or lemon juice as needed.

Food processor or blender: Add all ingredients except for oil. Pulse a few times and slowly add oil until emulsified. Adjust to taste, adding more oil or lemon juice as needed.

Makes 1/2 - 3/4 cup. Store in the refrigerator. Olive oil may harden in fridge so allow to come to room temp and shake before use or run warm water over the bottom of the jar.

  • Don't like thyme? Use any other herb or just leave it out.
  • To crush the garlic: Chop garlic into small pieces (after removing skin). Sprinkle a little salt on the chopped garlic. Then lay the flat side of the knife, with the blade facing away from you, on top of the garlic . Press down firmly on the knife. Scrape garlic back into a pile and smash with the knife again, repeating until garlic is crushed. Or use a garlic press (or zester/grater). Another gadget on my just-suck-it-up-and-buy-one list. Though I actually enjoy chopping my veggies with a knife.
  • If you want to make this with regular lemons, go for it. You might want to add a little honey. Maybe a tsp or two. But you don't need to.
  • Go ahead and zest your lemons first and throw it on these Brussels sprouts chips or freeze it.
Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette (and roasted brussels sprouts)
Meyer lemon-thyme vinaigrette on a salad. Salmon cake and egg optional.

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