When the Town Crier put out a call for reader recipes, Los Altos Hills resident Karen Druker wrote in with a tribute to formerly detested vegetables.
Her recipe for asparagus and/or brussels sprouts can be used with one vegetable or the other throughout most of the year. Asparagus is still in season in California markets through the end of this month, but she notes that given the realities of daily business, “I buy my veggies wherever I am.”
“I like this recipe because I remember detesting brussels sprouts my mom cooked to mush when I was a kid,” Druker wrote in. “She cooked a lot of veggies to mush, although she was wondrous at baking bread and desserts and slow cooking meats and soups. One night I sat at the dinner table in a battle of wills until I fell asleep into my plate, because my mom said, ‘You are sitting there until you eat those brussels sprouts!’”
After claiming that (Pyrhhic) victory, Druker didn’t touch the sprouts again for 64 years, until her son-in-law introduced her to the following recipe and inspired an instant conversion.
“The roasting of any veggie brings out the sweetness and intensifies the flavor,” Druker said, adding that she gives a similar treatment to carrots and beets. “I think I would add ‘Easy’ to the title, it is so easy. I would serve this with simply cooked or barbecued fish, chicken, pork chops, sautéed scallops or steak. A baked potato (even one speed-cooked in the microwave) would make this a simple but yummy and quick meal.”
Druker concluded: “As always, I would toast my beloved, dearly departed mom, Edna, as I drank a glass of Central Coast Edna Valley Chardonnay with it.”
Quick tip: When you need a pile of garlic peeled quickly, Druker advises: “Take a large knife and place it horizontally over the clove of garlic, and then karate chop the garlic clove under the knife with your fist. The kernel just pops out – no peeling required!”
Roasted Asparagus and/or Brussels Sprouts
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Dash balsamic vinegar
• Asparagus and/or brussels sprouts
• 10 cloves garlic, peeled
• Sea salt and pepper to taste
Pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar on baking sheet.
Add brussels sprouts and/or asparagus and toss to coat.
Add 10 cloves garlic, peeled. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Roast at 400 F for 15 minutes.
• Add 4 bacon slices instead of olive oil, and omit salt.
• Roast 10 minutes and then add pistachios, pecans, almonds or pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. Roast another 5 minutes.