These roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts, a recipe from the Franny’s cookbook, are simple and delicious. Toasted almonds and Manchego cheese make it a hearty vegetable side dish, as perfect to serve alongside a simple roast chicken as a Thanksgiving turkey.
A few weeks ago, I found myself at the library with Ella looking for yet another Calvin and Hobbes book. Once I found it, I ducked around the corner to the cookbook section for a quick peek and spotted Franny’s, a cookbook I did not know existed.
This recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with Manchego and almonds immediately caught my attention. Because I love these balsamic-roasted Brussels sprouts, I substituted a fancy white balsamic vinegar for the lemon. No regrets.
Recently, in place of buying fancy white balsamic, I reduce cheaper, conventional white balsamic to concentrate its sweetness and thicken its consistency.
A Note About Pecorino & Manchego
- Pecorino simply means “sheep’s milk cheese,” though many people equate it with Pecorino Romano (including yours truly). Andrew Feinberg, the chef of Franny’s, recommends using something like Pecorino Ginepro, an Italian cheese flavored with balsamic vinegar and juniper, or Manchego, but not Pecorino Romano, which he says would overwhelm this dish. I always use Manchego, which I can find everywhere and which works beautifully here.
I learned about Franny’s from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons, which includes a recipe for the “kale salad that started it all,” which Joshua created while working at Franny’s. Most recently, I made Melissa Clark’s seared broccoli and potato soup, which was based on a soup made at Franny’s and which, as it turns out, is also included in Franny’s the cookbook. There’s a recipe for the zucchini version of the soup, too.
A quick flip through the book convinced me I needed to take it home, but I’ve since purchased it. It’s so good! Friends, if you are fans of Six Seasons, I think you’ll really love this one, too. The subtitle is “Simple. Seasonal. Italian.” — what’s not to love? — but what I’ve been enjoying most is seeing glimpses of Joshua McFadden’s food in the pages. It’s not the same, but similar.
Friends, your Thanksgiving menus are likely set, but if you’re still looking for ideas, this might be a good one to consider.
PPS: All the Vegetable Side Dishes
Here’s the play-by-play:
Halve 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts.
Toss with olive oil and salt.
Spread onto a sheet pan — this is a large sheet pan.
Gather the components: Roasted Brussels sprouts, toasted almonds, cubed Manchego, reduced white balsamic.
Toss. Adjust flavor as needed with salt, pepper, vinegar, lemon, etc.
Adapted from Franny’s: Simple Seasonal Italian by Andrew Feinberg, Francine Stephens, and Melissa Clark
Notes: I made some changes to the recipe, so if you want to follow the original recipe, omit the vinegar, and use 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or more to taste.
Also, the original recipe calls for roasting the Brussels sprouts at 500ºF for 20-25 minutes. I’ve reduced the heat to 450ºF, which I find still gives the sprouts a nice char, while allowing them to cook all the way through. Original recipe also calls for whole almonds, which you toast and chop. I used sliced almonds for simplicity. (Lazy me.)
For video guidance, check out Instagram Stories.
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar (or 2 tablespoons fresh lemon, see notes above)
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup Pecorino Ginepro or Manchego cheese (but not Pecorino Romano), broken into jagged 1/4-inch pieces or cubed
- Nice flaky sea salt for finishing, optional
- lemon for finishing, optional
- Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar to a simmer. Adjust the temperature so the vinegar stays at a gentle simmer and cook until it reduces by half. You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of the spoon—err on the side of under-reducing. As it sits in the hot pan, it will continue to reduce.
- Place the Brussels sprouts, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Toss to evenly coat. Arrange the Brussels sprouts in a single layer on the roasting pan. Reserve the bowl. Roast for 15 minutes or until the sprouts begin to bronze and char in places. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the reserved bowl and set them aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the almonds in a medium skillet and toast over low heat, until golden. If you can give them your full attention, you can crank up the heat, but watch closely—they’ll burn quickly. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Add the toasted almonds, cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and reduced balsamic to the bowl with the Brussels Sprouts and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with sea salt (if you have it) and pepper. If desired, add a squeeze of lemon, too.
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Oven, Roasting
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: roasted, Brussels, sprouts, vinegar, balsamic, Manchego, Pecorino, almonds, side dish