Last weekend I went to a potluck at a friend's and was instructed to bring "a vegetable, something I would want to eat." I usually attend these potlucks with some cheese or wine or just my good spirits, so since this was the first instance of actual cooking that I was showing to some of these ladies, I thought I'd better step it up this time. So, vegetables you say? I turned to the Real Girl's Kitchen blog for some easy recipes and found this one with grapes, shallots, pistachios, and brussels sprouts. I can always count on Haylie Duff to make things that will be delicious yet simple enough to whip up for, say, a potluck you have in an hour. I also considered making this salad with quinoa but luckily I didn't, because the hostess made something really similar. Another recipe for another day!
Clearly, these are not brussels sprouts. Hint: I didn't use the shallots or pistachios either. I was on a time crunch, ok? I think it tasted pretty great even with the edited recipe, and even my skeptical roommate ("You're roasting...grapes? Are they raisins now?" Verbatim people!) said it turned out well.
Want to know what I did end up concocting? Come on in...
Ingredients: - two large bunches of broccoli florets or broccolini - 2-3 cups of grapes off the vine, or more (I used a lot of grapes because I like the sweet & savory combination.) - chopped pecans (I cheated and bought them pre-chopped in a bag from the baking section.) - Dijon mustard - Balsamic vinegar - olive oil, sea salt, pepper
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and begin chopping the stems off your broccoli.
Peel the leaves off your broccoli bits and place them on a baking sheet. Place grapes on baking sheet too wherever you can. They should be as close to flat on the baking sheet as possible, but sometimes that's just not possible, especially if you're making a lot!
Douse in olive oil and a bit of sea salt. By this time with all of the chopping and placing and dousing, your oven will likely be hot enough. Place in oven (on the middle rack!) for 15 minutes.
Spread your pecans out on a toaster oven baking sheet for, well, toasting. If you don't have a toaster oven, put them in a smaller bake-safe dish and toast in the oven for a few minutes. I find 5 minutes in a toaster oven is great and sometimes almost burns them. We have a nut burning problem in our apartment, so, there's definitely a learning curve here. Either way, toast your pecans.
Your sauce is going to be pretty easy: mix 2 tablespoons (or more if you'd like - I think I did about 1.5 times the amount) balsamic with 2 tablespoons dijon. Really get it good and dijon-y.
Mustard! I used the whole-grain variety we had in the fridge but the sauce might be a bit smoother if you use the blended type. Doesn't matter, mustard is mustard. Yum.
Told you I'd burn them...
After fifteen minutes roasting in the oven, take your broccoli-grape combo out. Don't turn off the oven - you'll still need it. In a large bowl (I'm talking LARGE here people) pour out your roasted bits and add the Dijon sauce. Mix with tongs so that all of the pieces are coated, even if just lightly. Don't add the nuts yet.
Put back in the oven to roast for another fifteen minutes, until it looks kind of wilted (this may be where brussels sprouts will hold up better, but, oh well.)
Still tasted good.
Add the toasted pecans and mix with your tongs. Tongs are really the key here, I swear.
Serve! Eat! Enjoy! Vegetables for the win!
|| Would you ever try this recipe? Have you tried anything else from the Real Girl's Kitchen site? ||