Burnished Brussels, Broccoli & Zucchini with Anchovy Butter
I could happily stand by the stove, picking golden roasted vegetables from the tray until they all but disappear..Better yet, I could slide them all into a bowl, fork in hand, and nestle into the couch whilst watching Stanley Tucci eat his way around Italy. That to me would be the ultimate form of self-care. But alas, I have a family who also needs to eat, and so I settle for pinching "just one more" burnished Brussels from the tray as I balance the BBQ lamb chops, perfumed with garlic and rosemary, over to the table.
I became curious before writing this post, as to what my older recipe books may suggest would be the best way to cook these often frowned upon green orbs. I looked to The Margaret Fulton cookbook. The Woman's Own Cookbook. The more from your microwave cookbook (I don't own a microwave but a friend gave it to me as a joke). And finally, after flipping through the pages of the aforementioned, without a single sighting of a Brussels sprout recipe, I remembered my The Australian Cookbook tome. And there it was, on page 384, Brussels salad.
Combine Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and spring onions in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing (yoghurt, tomato juice, mustard, basil, and parsley) over the salad and chill well. Cook the bacon until very crisp, add the pecans, and sprinkle over the salad. Serve immediately.
I am not so sure about you, but it doesn't sound like the most appetizing way to enjoy these nutty delights. I can't say I'll be giving it a go any time soon...or ever. I think I'll stick to tumbling them onto a baking tray along with florets of broccoli, slices of zucchini, and wedges of onion, roasting the lot in a hot oven until burnished and crispy and marvelling at the magical sheen that melted butter, garlic, anchovies, and capers create as the whole lot is gently tousled together. The aroma alone is enough to make me salivate with the anticipation of flavour that awaits upon that first mouthful too much to bear, and I find myself stealing spoonfuls as I stand over the kitchen bench.
We may be seeing the last of these beauties as the seasons change, but I simply had to share this recipe here. I call it a recipe, but really it's just a bit of this and a bit of that.
Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, larger ones quartered, smaller ones halved
a medium-sized head of broccoli, broken into florets
2 zucchinis, sliced
red onion, cut into wedges
brown onion, cut into wedges
salt and pepper
50g softened butter
1 garlic clove, finely diced
5 anchovy fillets, finely diced
1 tbs capers, rinsed and roughly chopped
Extra glug of extra virgin olive oil
a good handful of parsley, chopped
Preheat your oven to 200c (fan) tumble the Brussels, broccoli, zucchini, and onions onto a large baking tray. Drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil, scatter with sea salt flakes, and a good grinding of black pepper. Pop into the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp, stirring once or twice so that they cook evenly.
Remove from the oven, add the butter, garlic, anchovies, and capers, and stir until the butter has melted and the anchovies have dissolved. Stir through the parsley, drizzle over extra oil and season to taste.