Brussels sprouts become deliciously sweet when roasted and can be cooked in the time it takes to simmer the cheesy polenta in this easy weeknight recipe, which transforms one of our favorite autumn vegetables into a hearty meatless Monday meal. The spiced walnuts are so good, you may want to double the recipe for them so you can snack on thme later this week.
Brussels Sprouts with Cheddar Polenta and Spiced Walnuts
For the spiced walnuts:
- 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) coarsely chopped walnut pieces
- 1 Tbs. melted unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- Sea salt
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) low-fat milk
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 lb. (500 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) polenta
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded white cheddar cheese
1. To make the nuts, preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). On a baking sheet, toss the walnuts with the melted butter, brown sugar, rosemary, chili powder, garlic powder and 3/4 tsp. salt. Bake until the nuts are toasted, 8 to 10 minutes; set aside.
2. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). In a saucepan, combine the milk and bay leaf with 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, toss the brussels sprouts with the oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Arrange the brussels sprouts cut side down in a single layer and roast until just tender and browned on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Once the milk mixture is boiling, gradually whisk in the polenta. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the polenta has thickened, about 18 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Divide the polenta among shallow bowls. Top with the brussels sprouts and spiced nuts, dividing them evenly, and serve. Serves 4.
Find more simple, healthy meals for every night of the week in our book Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning.