Travel the roads of northwest Rhode Island at this time of year, and you'll spot white plastic buckets, often in twos, dangling from the sugar maples. If the days are warm and the nights cold, small steel funnels tapped into the tree trunks will direct a steady drip of sap into the buckets. That sap, boiled down over many hours, becomes the maple syrup we pour over pancakes and johnnycakes. (It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.) Real maple syrup also makes a fine base for a savory vinaigrette, adding just a little sweetness, like honey or agave nectar, to balance the acidity of the vinegar. I'm not a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, as you know, but when a bag of shaved sprouts fell into my shopping cart at Trader Joe's a few days ago, I roasted them along with thinly sliced broccoli florets, and tossed everything with a bit of this irresistible maple mustard vinaigrette, with maple syrup from a farm here in town. I kind of, sort of, loved it.
Brussels and broccoli with maple mustard vinaigrette
4 cups shaved or thinly sliced Brussels sprouts (cut out the root ends before you slice)
4 cups thinly sliced broccoli florets
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
For the vinaigrette:
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced (or use 1/2 tsp garlic paste from a jar)
Large pinch of black pepper
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Spread the Brussels sprouts and broccoli on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on the olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss with your hands until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil and seasonings, and spread into a single layer on the baking sheet.
Roast at 425°F for 12 minutes, until the vegetables are just beginning to show bits of browning on the edges. Remove the pan from the oven.
While the vegetables are cooking, add the vinaigrette ingredients to a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake vigorously, to emulsify the dressing.
Transfer the warm vegetables to a mixing bowl, and add only as much dressing as you need to moisten them without drowning them.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Tomato, beet and basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Spinach salad with honey mustard vinaigrette
Kale salad with mushrooms and mustard vinaigrette
Spinach salad with glazed beets and blue cheese
Ginger-maple-miso salad dressing
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Maple mustard grilled pork chops, from Andrea Meyers
Quinoa salad with pears, baby spinach and chick peas in a maple vinaigrette, from Gluten-free Goddess
Maple mustard chicken, from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Maple-glazed apple-chicken sausage bites, from Noble Pig
Maple Dijon baked tempeh, from The Chic Life
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