So, Happy New Years again! Did you make it to midnight, eat way too much, do the champagne toast? Charlie and I being prematurely old people, pretty much always have a very tame New Years in, and go to bed at 10 or so… but we also always have a really nice dinner with family on New Years Day; and most certainly eat way too much. We followed the usual plan and it was lovely.
But, now the holiday’s are over, Aiden is back in school, and the regular old routine is back in full swing. :::sigh::: And it’s probably time to start eating a little healthier and undoing some of the excess of the holidays. :::sigh::: Which is obviously why I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite restaurants in Denver. OK, I know that doesn’t make sense right off the bat with the whole eating healthier thing, but hang with me here, it will in a minute. (Really!)
So, Panzano. As you might have guessed, knowing me, Panzano is an Italian restaurant, and the food is AMAZING. Tender, simmered for hours, Lamb Ragù served over homemade tagliatelle, just the right texture, baked fresh focaccia, nearly translucent ravioli with bright purple beet centers, and perfectly decadent roasted brussel sprouts…
Yes really, roasted brussel sprouts. I know, I know, brussel sprouts aren’t the food most people wax poetic about (especially me, now that I think about it) but Panzano’s brussel sprouts are so GOOD!
First, they’re roasted (I would guess in olive oil), which really deepens and brings out the best of their flavor. Then the sprouts are drizzled with a tangy apple cider vinegar reduction (which I would guess also contains some of the roasted vegetable drippings). Then the whole thing is topped with crunchy green (think Granny Smith) apple and pistachios. The vegetable flavor is complemented perfectly by the tang of the vinegar, the touch of sour/sweet from the apples, and the saltiness of the pistachios.
Honestly, I’m not a vegetable person so when I say something veggie related is GOOD, you can take that to the bank. And these brussel sprouts are GOOD. Naturally, being a food blogger I had to attempt to replicate the recipe at home. (And share it with you!) And I’ve come up with a darn good version, very similar in taste to what you’ll find if you ever visit Panzano (which I highly recommend you do)! Until the day you visit, you can enjoy these decadent sprouts at home and be virtuous for any New Years resolutions you’ve made.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Green Apple And Cider Vinegar Reduction- Serves 4, generously. Inspired By Chef Elise Wiggin’s version at Panzano, Denver.
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, washed, ends trimmed and any yellowing leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, +additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, + additional to taste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 large Granny Smith apple
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios*
- Preheat the oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the washed and trimmed brussel sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the sprouts evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the sprouts in the oven for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that all the different sides get color but nothing burns. The sprouts are done when they are fully cooked through and the outsides have browned and may even have a few almost black patches.
- When the sprouts are close to done, but still cooking prepare the apple. Peal and core the apple. Slice the apple into matchsticks. Place in a small bowl and set aside.
- When the sprouts are cooked remove from the oven and transfer the sprouts to a plate. Reserve the oil and cooking juices and transfer them to a small saucepan.
- Add the cider vinegar to the sauce pan and heat on the stove over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for a minute. Remove from the heat and drizzle over the brussel sprouts.
- Top the sprouts with the prepared apple matchsticks and pistachios. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
*Note: If you are allergic to nuts feel free to omit them from the recipe. It’s great without them as well, though you may find you’ll want to add a little additional salt.