The end of the gardening season is upon us, but we still have a few treats to marvel over. Brussels sprouts are some of the last of the vegetables out there in the grey cottage's patch of Earth.
SB has had a checkered past with Brussels sprouts, as the deer have triumphed on more than one occasion. When he loses a crop to the browsing varmints, he'll come into the house swearing that he'll never grow them again. Then winter softens his memory of encroachment and the seed catalogues come in the mail and I swoon over all the possibilities for the growing season and the seed packets get ordered. Hope springs anew ... and he plans a higher wattle fence.
These little green jewels came in from the garden this afternoon. Look how little they are ... SB cuts them when they are about the size of your thumb nail. They are so incredibly tender and full of flavour! It's amazing how different they taste from the smallest of the varieties available at the markets.
Such a simple preparation - tip the stem end of the veg, toss with chopped shallot, a couple teaspoonsful of olive oil, and plenty of black pepper. Cover with tin foil and roast in a hot oven (375 degrees F) just until you can begin to smell them cooking. Remove the foil and toss them to brown the edges a bit, continue roasting til golden. Meanwhile cut five or six shaved slices of capicola or pancetta into strips and crisp them in a small fry pan. Toss the ham with the roasted Brussels sprouts and serve hot from the oven.
PS- The wattle fence was over five feet high this year ... so far there are no high jumpers making their way into the patch where the Brussels sprouts are planted. We may have finally figured out the way to keep the deer at bay!