One of the things I enjoy most about Sacramento is the cool evenings. No matter how warm the days get, the evenings cool off and most days we're able to open the windows (minus a the few weeks of summer when it's just hot.) Recently, these cooler evenings have pushed me more into heartier cooking. Mac and cheese, stews, and polenta. I actually prefer polenta to most things, primarily because it's minimal ingredients and while I do cook it for some time, it's mainly hands-off.
Variations for the Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Of course with fall comes my abundance of eating Brussels sprouts. There are a myriad of ways to prepare these gems but I have a hard time pulling away from roasting. The flavor mellows slightly and the nice char is a favorite of mine. Add to that onions and balsamic reduction, it's a trio of flavors that screams fall.
Balsamic Reduction: Two things here. One, you can make this ahead of time and use it for dressings and other roasted vegetables. Two, you can toss the vegetables in the balsamic reduction before you roast. I prefer to toss them after to keep a bit of the liquid for the polenta.
Ditch the polenta: The roasted Brussels sprouts make for a lovely addition to grain salads. Toss with greens and your favorite grain for an on-the-go meal.
Cheese up the polenta: I normally add cheese to my polenta and I stopped myself from adding a hefty amount of goat cheese so that this recipe would easily be adaptable for vegans. However, if you are a cheese fiend like myself, add in goat cheese or your favorite melty cheese with the butter.
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Polenta
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup medium-grind polenta
- 1 tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ pound Brussels sprouts
- ¼ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons olive Oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnut pieces
- Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Add in the polenta, whisking quite a bit, until the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every once in awhile (full technique can be found here- it's the only way I make polenta). Once done, stir in butter and salt/pepper as desired.
- Preheat oven to 400˚. Trim the ends from the Brussels sprouts and cut each brussels sprout in half, keeping any leaves that fall off. Toss the brussels sprouts, loose leaves, and onions with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out into a single layer on a roasting pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Brussels sprouts should be browning.
- While the brussels sprouts are roasting, place the balsamic vinegar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook until mixture has reduced down to ¼ cup and has thickened slightly, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Once Brussels sprouts are finished, toss with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the balsamic mixture and walnut pieces.
- Divide polenta into two bowls and top with Brussels sprout mixture.
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂
I become infatuated with different ways of preparing brussels sprouts every year, but I always come back to roasting. Roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic and polenta sounds like a fantastic dinner.
Oh Ella, that looks so delicious I would like to eat it all now.
Daaaaah you just made my heart all fussy. I love polenta so so much! Cannot wait to try this recipe!
Miss Polkadot says
Yes, please! Both brussels sprouts and polenta are typical 'rustic' comfort foods to me - perfect for autumn!
Fox Kitchen says
Looks absolutely lovely!
This looks amazing! i can't wait to try it 🙂
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
Brussels and potlenta... I mean, really, nothing sounds better than curling up on the couch with a bowl of this.
I have a pre-cooked tube of polenta that I bought from Trader Joe's. How can I adjust the recipe?
Sorry this question went to spam! You can just ignore the polenta instructions and cook it according to the instructions on the tube. The pre-cooked polenta definitely speeds up the process.
looks perfect for a cozy day!!! yuummy can't wait to try ;D
This sounds absolutely delicious! Since I learned how to roast Brussels sprouts, that's the only way I do them. And I would definitely add a lot of goat cheese to this to achieve perfection.
Just love this one, Erin! Polenta are brussels are two of my favorites, but I've yet to put them together like this. Just looks like the perfect fall weather meal!
Barbara (BarbB) says
I can't wait to try this recipe. I haven't eaten polenta or Brussels yet. I know - where have I been? It looks delicious.
Michelle | The Secret Ingredient Is says
Roasted brussels + balsamic is one of my favorite combinations ever, and then the addition of polenta (definitely with tons of goat cheese!) - this just sounds wonderful and comforting! Love this.
Made this last night and it turned out great. Not knowing what I was looking for at the grocery store, I grabbed a tube of polenta, which I guess is actually already cooked and hydrated. Needless to say, the liquid-to-polenta ratios written didn't work out (user error on my part, not Erin's!). But once I realized what was going on, I took a second 1 lb tube of polenta, sliced and microwaved it for about 3 min with ~3/4 cup of broth, and then used a hand blender to mix in butter and goat cheese and it turned out great (and was a really fast prep). Probably not quite as good as polenta from scratch, but it still ended up as a delicious dinner.
Nicole B. says
I found a butternut squash polenta recipe to go with the roasted brussels and balsamic and holy eff, it rocked my world!
jackie @ supermancooks says
Oh my does this make my mouth water!! Brussel sprouts are my absolute favorite, and I have never thought to make them with polenta! We will definitely give this a try..... love all of your variation suggestions as well!
This is dinner tomorrow! I get so excited when I have at home exactly what a recipe calls for. Yummy!
The Brussels sprouts were delicious, I'd also forgotten how much I liked polenta. I also roasted some carrots to serve with this separately and they went very well with this dish. Thanks.