Brown butter and sherry vinegar come together in this flavor bomb of a dish. These are THE brussels sprouts for your Thanksgiving table. Sweetened with a touch of honey to accent the roasted grapes – and studded with chestnuts for that ultimate holiday vibe – you’re going to love this turkey day side!
Every year around October, I order fresh chestnuts. Loads and loads of chestnuts. They arrive in 3 pound bags every week or two. Everyone in our house adores them, and they become our early evening snack for as long as they’re seasonally fresh.
Each night while making dinner, I roast a handful in the oven. The kids come running in as they hear the oven door shut, peel them, still warm, relishing their sweet, starchy flavor. Even my nut-hating middle child adores them! Totally delish.
The chestnut crop had some issues this year. My usual farm in Tennessee told me they had a terrible harvest, and what little they had, sold out in 10 minutes! My second source, a farm in Oregon, fared better and I was able to get my hands on a few pounds- but sadly snacking won’t be a weeks-long nightly ritual this year.
But I’ve got a back up plan. We’ll still get our fix!
Around Thanksgiving time, grocery stores stock their shelves with jarred whole chestnuts, pre-cooked and peeled for ultimate convenience. Admittedly, jarred don’t provide quite the same experience as do their farm fresh friends, nevertheless they prove an excellent cooking ingredient!
This year, these amazing and healthy nuts are finding their way into my brussels sprouts. If you’re new to chestnuts (or cooking with chestnuts), this will be a great introducion.
The earthiness that brussels get when roasted in the oven are the perfect partner for the sweet, dense chestnut fruit. You’ll love the complimenting textures and flavors with every forkful: from brussels to grapes, to shallots and chestnuts. Rosemary and orange zest add an aromatic and pungent zing, and the brown butter, sherry vinegar and honey in the sauce, make it sweet & sour at every turn.
I love this dish. I can’t say enough… so I’ll just stop here and let you decide for yourself! My bet is it’ll be one of your favorite new ways to do brussels… for this Thanksgiving, and all winter long!
Any Tips or Tricks while making these brussels sprouts?
- If you’d like to get ahead, you have a couple of options. Option 1, you can make the entire dish ahead of time, cool and refrigerate, then rewarm in a low oven before serving. Option 2, you can prep the vegetables in the roasting pan and refrigerate, popping it in the oven 30-40 minutes before serving time. Also prep the butter sauce ahead and refrigerate. You’ll probably need to warm up the sauce before tossing it with the veggies as it will solidify in the fridge (this can be done in the microwave or stovetop).
- I was really tempted to add some sort of cured meat to this, either layering prosciutto on top during the last 10 minutes of baking, or crisping bacon and topping with that before serving. I decided to keep it off, but if it sounds good to you, then go for it!
- When trimming the brussels sprouts, the goal is to have them all be roughly the same size so that they cook evenly. Cut any larger sized sprouts in half. For the smaller sprouts, here’s a trick so that they roast, not steam (which will result in a bitter flavor and mushy texture). Starting at the stem end, cut through toward the top, though not all the way, maybe ⅛ to ¼ inch. This will allow the steam to release from the inside, and for the brussels to crisp up.
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Crispy Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Grapes & Chestnuts
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts trimmed and halved if large
- 1 cup cooked and peeled chestnuts
- 1 ¼ cups 6 ounces red or purple grapes, halved if large
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sprig of fresh rosemary chopped
- 2 medium shallots sliced thickly
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 400. Combine the brussels sprouts, rosemary, shallots, olive oil, and 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes, then toss in the grapes. Cook another 20-25 minutes, stirring two or three times, until the brussels are tender and the grapes are softened.
- While everything is roasting, make the seasoning. In a small skillet or saucepan, cook the butter over medium heat. Let it cook, stirring or swirling occasionally, until the milk solids in the butter begin to turn brown. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat proof bowl. Let it cool off slightly, then stir in the vinegar, honey, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and orange zest.
- During the last 5 minutes of roasting, stir in the chestnuts and the butter mixture. Top with plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and serve warm.
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