November is officially here, which I must admit freaks me out a little bit. I mean, just yesterday it was August and I was at the beach! Where does the time go? But, nonetheless, here it is, which means that Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, and it’s getting to be menu planning time.
This may be a tad weird, but I actually enjoy menu planning. I love brainstorming about what I should or shouldn’t serve to my particular guests, if that side dish will compliment this main dish, and should dessert be on the richer side or should I serve something light? Then there’s the wine pairings, which I find so much fun to research. Then I can spend a few blissful hours perusing cookbooks, magazines, and food blogs narrowing down the list and making notes on which particular recipes to use and making any necessary tweaks. Is anyone else like that? I’m sure some of you are!
This is certainly one of the side dishes I’m strongly considering. It is one of the better Brussels sprouts preparations I’ve ever eaten, one that actually threatens to upstage the turkey. And the supporting flavors in this dish just scream Thanksgiving and fall: roasted sweet onions, tart apples, and crunchy candied pecans that contrast so beautifully with the slight bitterness of the sprouts.
I must admit that I’ve served just this dish, alone, for dinner a few times, and every time we have inhaled it. Childhood Julie hated Brussels sprouts (of course!). If this dish had made an appearance on any Thanksgiving table at which I’d sat before around age 23, I probably would have tried to just pick out the candied pecans! But today I will devour all of it, easily. I definitely think you should consider inviting these sprouts to your Thanksgiving spread.
Source: adapted from The Meatball Shop Cookbook, by Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow
1 cup pecan halves
2 tbs honey
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Grease a rimmed baking sheet. In a mixing bowl, toss together the pecans, honey, and 1 tsp salt.
Roast, tossing every 5 minutes, until the pecans are deep brown, well roasted, and smell very nutty, about 20 minutes.
Remove the pecans from the oven and allow to cool. Try your best not to eat too many of them before the rest of the dish is cooked.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 F.
Place the brussels sprouts and onions in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Add the olive oil and 2 tsp salt and toss to coat.
Roast until the brussels sprouts begin to brown, 15-20 minutes. Add the apples, mix, and return to the oven. Continue roasting, turning every 10 minutes, until the brussels sprouts and onions are fully cooked and tender and the apples are beginning to brown, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven, add the vinegar, and toss to incorporate. Season with a touch of extra salt and top with the candied pecans (the ones you didn’t eat already, anyway!) and a generous sprinkle of black pepper. Serve immediately.