Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Vanilla-Confit Chestnuts & Thyme from Mr. Wilkinson’s Fall and Winter Vegetables
Though they have been much maligned in the past, brussels sprouts have made a comeback in recent years as autumnal favorite vegetables. In Mr. Wilkinson’s Fall and Winter Vegetables, Matt Wilkinson offers up a roasted version of the delicate greens, with vanilla-confit chestnuts and thyme.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4 as a side
“Remember that Brussels sprouts are delicious until they’re overcooked. Then they emanate a farty smell and will taste like how the grans of the past cooked them. Follow this recipe to the “T” and I assure you that you will love the Brussels.”
- 7 ounces sweet chestnuts
- ¾ cup vanilla syrup (see recipe below)
- 20–30 brussels sprouts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, diced
- 5 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Score the top of the chestnuts with a sharp knife, place on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes or until they start to split open at the cut. Cool slightly, then peel while still warm.
Turn down the oven to 400°F. Place the peeled chestnuts and vanilla syrup in a small saucepan (4 inches in diameter) and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 15–17 minutes. Set aside.
Trim the bases of the Brussels sprouts, peel off the outer dark green leaves and halve. (You can either throw the outer leaves away or have a go at making the salad of Brussels sprout leaves, mozzarella, white anchovies). Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil and warm for 1 minute, then add the sprouts, cut side down, and sauté for 4 minutes. Drain the chestnuts from the syrup with a slotted spoon and add to the pan. (Discard the syrup or save to use again.) Season with salt and pepper, add the butter and thyme and once the butter has melted, give it a good stir. Pour into a large ovenproof serving dish and roast for 12–15 minutes. Serve straight away.
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
To make the vanilla syrup, place the sugar, vanilla bean and seeds and ⅔ cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour into a container and chill in the fridge.
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