I don’t know how it’s already possible that we are in our third week of August. My sister returns from seven weeks of sleep- away camp this week, which is a clear sign that we are in the final leg of the summer. One of the many things I love about this favorite season, is that it’s expected and accepted that it’s okay to take things a little slower and easier. It’s the norm to go on vacation, take slow walks after dinner, and lay around reading in the sun on the weekend.
While out the other evening with friends, I was talking with someone at our dinner who I had just met, and it came up that we both enjoyed cooking. I asked what she cooked, and she asked me if I cook more from recipes or “freestyle.” It took me a second to think about, and I realized that as much as I love reading recipes and cookbooks for ideas and inspiration, I don’t follow recipes too strictly in my everyday cooking. I really love simply roasted vegetables and fresh salads, especially in the summer.
Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables, I roast them with oil and salt by the tray-full. Lately, I’ve been adding adding shallots to the vegetables, and it takes them to a whole new level. Then, after cooking, before serving, I drizzle them with umeboshi vinegar, often used in Japanese cooking. The vinegar is salty and a bit sour- adding a great kick. It’s a strong flavor, so I usually leave it on side to be used individually.
Simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts
1 pound Brussel Sprouts*
1 tablespoons of Oil (I use refined coconut)
1 teaspoon course salt
2 teaspoons Umeboshi Vinegar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400′ F. Cut brussel Sprouts in half and shallots in 6th, depending on their size (cut once length wise and twice across.) Toss brussel spouts and shallots with oil and salt in a large bowl and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 35-25 minutes, until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You can serve with umeboshi vinegar, drizzled on or left on the side.
These brussel sprouts can be served hot or cold, as a side vegetable, or tossed in with a salad for a hearty addition.