When the New Yorker lands in my mailbox each Tuesday, the first thing I read is the weekly restaurant write-up, Tables for Two. It’s short and sweet, and usually contains a brief description of one or two stand-out dishes. Every once in a while, I hear one of the descriptions and think, that sounds like something I should try to make. Even more rarely than that, I actually get off my derriere and try to make one of the recipes. This is one of those times.
The idea came from The Vanderbilt, a restaurant in Prospect Heights. According to the New Yorker, “the best dish might be the roasted Brussels sprouts, dressed with sriracha, lime, and honey, each bite a perfect combination of sweet, spicy, and tart.” They really did sound perfect, and given a) how simple the ingredient list sounded and b) the fact that I happened to have all four aformentioned ingredients in my house, I decided to give it a go. What better use of a snow day than turning dish descriptions into great food?
For my first (and thusfar only) try at this recipe, I used just the listed ingredients, oil, and salt. I imagine the restaurant may have thrown in some stock for balance, or any number of other things not mentioned in the name, but brussels sprouts with sriracha, lime, and honey sound just great. I was making only one serving, so I pulled out a little bowl and squeezed in a tablespoon of honey. I added a teaspoon of sriracha to that and stirred it to combine. Then I added the juice of half a lime and mixed it together. Upon tasting it, I decided it needed more tartness, so I added the juice from the other half of the lime: perfect. I poured it into a bigger bowl and added the trimmed sprouts. I mixed it all together, tossed the sprouts onto a baking sheet, drizzled them with olive, and put them in the oven at 375. 27 minutes later, I pulled out a tray of the crispiest, most perfect little sprouts. Transferring them to a plate and snapping a couple of pictures was all I could do to avoid eating them all immediately.
Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha, Lime, and Honey
inspired by The Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights
serves about 6 as a side dish
4 pounds brussels sprouts, root ends trimmed, halved if large
4 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons sriracha (you might want to start with less if you’re sensitive to spice)
juice of 4 limes
about 4 tablespoons grapeseed or other flavorless oil
Preheat the oven to 375. In a small bowl, combine honey and sriracha. Taste and adjust for spice level. Add lime juice and stir to combine. When the sauce has the perfect balance of spice, sweetness, and tartness, transfer it to a larger bowl and add sprouts. Toss to combine. Transfer sprouts to a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer, and drizzle remaining sauce overtop. Sprinkle with salt (a couple big pinches will be plenty), and drizzle the oil overtop. Bake for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until sprouts are fully crisped outside, and soft but not mushy within. Serve immediately.