Thursday, March 25, 2010

Roasted and Citrus'd

One of my favorite flavor combinations is the deep smokiness of roasted vegetables combined with the bright lift of citrus. This time of year is perfect for eating this way. Roasting channels cool nights, but citrus signals that warmer times are ahead. Here are two dishes to get your Roasted/Citrus'd groove on perfectly - Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette and Parmesan Roasted Broccoli:

Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Why no photo, you ask? Because it was one of the last dishes I made before we moved and life was crazy. Also, I wasn't entirely successful with this - I burned the cilantro crisps. But Momofuku for 2 has a fantastic (as always) photo, and a write-up of how the recipe should work. This recipe is so damn tasty, even with burned cilantro crisps (you could totally skip them if you're already intimidated, or just focus on them instead of getting distracted like I was that night). Have I mentioned how good a read Momofuku is, by the way? And you're warned: Chang's fish sauce vinaigrette will have you craving it on everything.

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
  • ½ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 to 3 red bird’s-eye chiles, thinly sliced, seeds intact
Combine the fish sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, garlic, and chiles in a jar. This vinaigrette will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
(recipe also gives versions for frying or using cauliflower)
Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons very thinly sliced cilantro stems, plus ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1/2 teaspoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup puffed rice (like Rice Krispies) tossed with ½ teaspoon grapeseed oil and ½ teaspoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice powder) 
1. Combine the vinaigrette, cilantro stems, and mint in a bowl, and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in an oven-safe wide skillet (12 to 14 inches) or 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil slides easily from side to side of the pan, add the cleaned and trimmed brussels sprouts cut side down. When the cut faces of the sprouts begin to brown, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes. The sprouts are ready when they are tender but not soft. 
3. Heat about 1 cup of oil in a small sauté pan or skillet—the oil should be ½ inch or so deep—over medium-high heat until a deep-fry or instant-read thermometer registers 375°F. Fry the cilantro leaves. Make sure the leaves are dry and fry them by the handful, dropping them into the oil and agitating them with a slotted spoon or spider so they don’t clump together. Give them 5 to 10 seconds to crisp, then drain on paper towels.
4. Toast the puffed rice: Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute or so, until it's hot, then add the puffed rice. Toast, stirring occasionally, until it's aromatic and perhaps a shade darker than it was when you added it to the pan, just a couple of minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. Divide the brussels sprouts among four bowls (or serve it all out of one big bowl), top with the dressing, and toss once or twice to coat. Sprinkle the fried cilantro and puffed rice over all, and serve.

Hungry yet? Here's one more Roasted/Citrus'd recipe for you, discovered by my hometown pal Heather. 

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
from the Barefoot Contessa

The earthy warmth of the broccoli paired with bright lemon is a total winner. Just like the puffed rice in the brussels sprouts recipe, the toasted pine nuts here add a satisfying crunch. This dish is good enough that it prompted a "we don't eat enough broccoli" conversation at our dining table.
Serves 4
  • 4 to 5 pounds broccoli
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.
3. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.


  1. Yum! I love roasted broccoli. And that fish sauce vinaigrette looks awesome! I always want to use the random jar of fish sauce sitting in my cabinet, without overwhelming things. Also, I detest cilantro so can make that without fear of burning it.

  2. P.S. Just saw your comment. Have you or your mom ever been to the pottery festival in Hickory? Prob too late of notice to go this year, but it's awesome. That's where I got my Cornbread and my Crystal lion.

  3. Both of these look so absolutely delish! I love your cooking style (as well as style in general) and I feel that we could put on one heck of a dinner party. Nom Nom Nom!


C'mon, make my day...

Related Posts with Thumbnails