Lil‘ cabbages are not exactly what you’d think of first to bring to a Thanksgiving party. Whole vegetables in general are not usually welcomed with open arms during the holidays. But these miniature greens pack a punch of flavor for their size and kind, especially when roasted with salty miso, spicy ginger and garlic, and sweet maple syrup. Think of them as the Yoda of the Thanksgiving table: small, sassy, and awesome, not wrinkly, green, and bug-eyed.
I experimented with brussels sprouts for the first time a couple years ago and discovered the magic of roasted, not steamed, veggies. Once I got this notion in my head, tossing in garlic and crunchy pistachios was clearly the next step. This new recipe develops that idea and then takes a step deeper into the pantry: coconut oil (instead of low smoke-point olive oil), miso (deep umami flavor), ginger (to complement the Japanese miso), maple syrup (to round out the savory notes), and toasted sesame seeds (for a nutty crunch). At the end, I recommend tossing the greens with a bit of sesame oil (toasted is amazing) for extra flair, but no worries if you can’t find it.
In addition to being downright delectable, this Thanksgiving side can be enjoyed by loved ones of many diets. As a dairy-allergic vegetarian with 90% omnivore friends, I really appreciate seeing a dish on the table with no meat and minimal dairy. People with gluten intolerance can also enjoy this dish (if you ensure the miso, rice vinegar, and sesame oil are certified gluten-free). Basically, it’s a recipe that the whole clan will enjoy. And if you’re not a huge fan of cabbage, replace the sprouts with another traditional holiday veggie, like these green beans.
I hope you have fun roasting the veggies, and happy Thanksgiving!