03 January 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fennel and Shitake Mushrooms

The New Year brings in many a food-oriented resolution and this foodie shudders when I think of most of them, particularly the one's that involve losing weight and limiting one's intake of certain high-calorie or high fat foods. Moderation in all things has become my mantra. I'm hoping that I can have my cake and lean meats and fruits and vegetables and eat them too! That being said, eating plenty of vegetables is always a good thing.

One of the most common resolutions these days is eating seasonal and local. It's an easier task to do when one lives in a warm climate where food is produced all year. Here in New England, there are cold, grey months when fresh vegetables and fruits are relegated to cold storage and come to the table from baskets and bins or temperature-controlled warehouses.

Today's dish could be considered seasonal albeit not local. The mushrooms and the fennel have come from afar, but the Brussels sprouts and shallots have come from area farmers. This is as local and unadulterated as we can get right now.

Now, about the recipe. It comes from Terry Walters' Clean Food website and is a contribution to  this month's Virtual Supper Club. I made this recipe last evening for our dinner. It accompanied a Marinated Flank Steak and a side of roasted potatoes. I will say that the balsamic and olive oil roasting dressing was delicious, but the roasting temperature and time went way beyond our personal tastes. The final dish was too browned, the outer Brussels sprout leaves were too crisped and the fennel slices were too soft for our palates.

Sooooo ... I have repeated the dish this morning and changed up the one ingredient that I used up in making last evening's vegetables. This dish has white mushrooms instead of the Shitake. Instead of roasting the mushrooms with the other vegetables, I pan browned them in a bit of the olive oil that I reserved from the dressing measure and added them in the last ten minutes of roasting. They stayed nice and firm and a bit crisped on the outer edges. Otherwise, the dish is as it was last evening. I have changed the roasting temperature to 375 degrees F. I have also started the roast with the vegetables covered with foil ( almost 20 minutes), then the oven temp is increased to 400 degrees F and the vegetables are uncovered for another, 15 minutes and tossed a few times so that they brown up and become coated and caramelized a bit.

Much better. Leftover flank steak and better vegetables for a lunch that mirrors last night's dinner. Sans potatoes and wine, but still tasty.

This post joins others who have participated in the January edition of Cooking Light's Virtual Supper Club. There is a growing number of members and participants and that's a good thing! Join us in eating clean and enjoying a healthy start to 2013! Happy New Year!

Cooking Light's Virtual Supper Club - January's 'Clean Food' Menu
Starter - Spinach Onion Swiss Frittata - Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe Cooking
Salad - Lentil Salad With Fresh Herbs - Jerry of Jerry's Thoughts, Musings & Rants
Side Dish - Bulgur With Dried Cranberries - Val of More Than Burnt Toast

Side Dish - Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Fennel and Mushrooms - Me
Main Dish - Curried Lamb and Lentil Stew - Sarah of All Our Fingers In the Pie
Dessert - Citrus Granita -Roz of  La Bella Vita

Wow! What a meal!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Fennel and Mushrooms
a recipe adapted from the Terry Walters original
1 ½ lbs. Brussels sprouts
4 shallots
10 cloves garlic
½ lb. Shitake or white mushrooms
1 large fennel bulb
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. fresh tarragon or rosemary (I used rosemary)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Preparing the Dish:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F and spritz a metal rimmed roasting pan with olive oil spray.
  2. Slice the bottom stems and remove any ragged outer leaves from the Brussel sprouts. Halve them top to bottom and place them on the roasting pan.
  3. Peel and quarter the shallots, peel and smash the garlic cloves. Toss these in with the Brussels sprouts.
  4. Slice the root end off the fennel bulb, trim the long stems and fronds, peel the outer coarse layer, trim out the root, and slice the fennel bulb into thin half moons.
  5. Toss together with the other vegetables.
  6. Drizzle on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle on the Kosher salt, black pepper, and herb of your choice.
  7. Toss lightly and then cover the pan with foil.
  8. Stem and quarter the mushrooms and brown them in 2 tbsp. of the olive oil until crisped on the outer edges. Turn off the heat in the pan and set them aside for now.
  9. Roast the Brussels sprouts, fennel, shallots, and garlic covered for about 20 minutes. When you begin to smell the Brussels sprouts and the balsamic dressing, remove the foil, turn the vegetables, increase the oven temperature to 400° F and continue roasting for another 15 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice more to achieve a browned and caramelized surface. Add the mushrooms in the last few minutes and toss them in with the other veg.
  10. Test the vegetables to be sure of a tender crisp bite on the Brussels sprouts.
  11. Remove and serve piping hot.
Serves 6
Note: I easily halved the recipe to keep with our small family's needs.



  1. Good for you Susan for giving this recipe a chance and cooking it a second time. It does sound like it would be worthy Thank you for bringing it to the table.

  2. I agree with you on moderation; this looks like a great combination; we live in northern Canada; it is bitter cold and grey; fresh produce are not too fresh or abundant. I do buy frozen, sometimes tastes fresher that some at this time of the year. I really have a hard time wiht your word verification.

    1. Oh Rita, I'm so sorry about the word verification thing, but I had some spammers get into the Garden from Russia and the blog was compromised for a while. I had to implement that dreaded word verification. I'm sorry for the inconvenience!

  3. Looks great! Unusual combination with fennel and brussels sprouts. Glad it finally worked for you.

  4. Looks delicious, although I have to admit that I'll leave out the fennel and up the shallot instead.

    It's nearly a relife to eat more healthily after the Christmas excesses!

  5. This looks amazing. I often roast brussels sprouts but have never thought about adding fennel . . MMMM I LOVE fennel. Now I have a serious craving happening here. I should know not to visit your blog prior to breakfast!

    Welcome to the supper club!


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