I get excited this time of year, when Brussels sprouts are in season (through mid-February) because it gives me a reason to make one of my all-time favorite and most party-perfect side dishes. Napa Valley Brussels Sprouts is my interpretation of a dish I first tasted at Michael Chiarello’s restaurant, Bottega, in Yountville, Calif., almost 10 years ago.
The dish featured a velvety, citrusy grapefruit butter sauce plus syrupy balsamic, crispy bits of salty pork and crunchy nuts with pomegranate seeds and grapefruit segments that positively burst in your mouth. It was a masterpiece. Bitter, sweet, tart, salty, fruity, nutty and roasty with a mélange of meaty, crunchy, silky and juicy textures.
And did I mention gorgeous? It was stunning. Replicating the dish was at the top of my to-do list. And even if I haven’t remembered it with perfect accuracy, I remember it as being absolutely perfect.
Napa Valley Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 3 Tbsp. Kowalski’s extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for garnish
- 1 tsp. freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns, plus more for garnish
Garnishes, as desired:
- Grapefruit Butter Sauce (recipe below)
- balsamic reduction (such as Cucina Viva Classic Glaze) or pomegranate molasses
- pomegranate seeds
- pancetta, chopped, cooked crisp and drained on paper towels
- Kowalski’s roasted and salted pepitas
- Marcona almonds, roughly chopped
- citrus segments
- Kowalski’s sea salt and black peppercorns, freshly ground to taste
In a large bowl, toss sprouts with oil, season with salt and pepper. In a preheated 400-degree F oven, roast sprouts on a parchment-lined baking sheet until crisp and darkened on the edges and tender at the base (about 20 minutes), stirring once. Move hot sprouts to a serving platter drizzled with butter sauce and/or balsamic reduction, if desired. Garnish with other ingredients as desired. Serve immediately.
Grapefruit Butter Sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine ¾ cup Kowalski’s freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, ½ cup dry white wine and 2 Tbsp. Champagne vinegar; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about ¼ cup (about 15 minutes). Whisk in 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Reduce heat to low; whisk in 4 Tbsp. cold Kowalski’s unsalted butter, a little at a time until melted. Season sauce to taste with finely minced fresh Italian parsley, kosher salt and freshly ground Kowalski’s black peppercorns.
Rachael Perron is the culinary and brand director for Kowalski’s Markets, where she specializes in product development and selection, culinary education and communications.