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Brussels Sprout Sliders

Brussels Sprout Sliders

I have a theory that 95% of people who don’t like Brussels sprouts have never had them roasted, or roasted and stuffed with goodies and held together with toothpicks. (This is an untested theory.) Roasting Brussels sprouts helps them to manifest their glory as proud crucifers as opposed to the sad, boiled, grey mush we suffer through once a year at Thanksgiving. They become sweet, shot through with umami and tender to the bite. Paired with the equally luscious caramelized onions, a bit of assertive tang from mustard (always such a complement to Brussels sprouts, but you can use vegan mayo if you really are not a mustard fan) and some smoky tempeh, and you have an altogether new kind of slider, perfect as a unique appetizer for a holiday party, and a crazily addictive one at that. (If you are a tempeh hater, feel free to omit. I won’t judge you. Okay, I will but it doesn’t matter.) These are easy to make but a bit time and labor intensive; if you do make them, I think you’ll agree that it was effort well spent. Makes a very cute appetizer.

Serves 2-3

First, caramelize some onions.

2 large sweet or yellow onions, sliced thin
2 T. olive oil
Salt to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, heat for a minute, then add the onions and a sprinkling of salt. Stir frequently, making sure to stir from the bottom of the pan up, to dislodge any sticking onions. They will begin to yellow and shrink in volume, as they darken from yellow to more of a caramel color, lower the heat. Keep cooking until they are at the desired state. This usually takes between 25 - 35 minutes and they should be very brown – though not burnt – and sweet when you’re finished cooking them.

Let cool.

Now, let’s make the Brussels sprouts and tempeh.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

20 large Brussels sprouts
2 T. olive oil
1 T. tamari
2 - 3 cloves garlic, pressed

Cut the Brussels sprouts in half from top to bottom and keep the two halves together. If you don’t keep them together, you will have to search for a pair that fits well together after they’ve roasted, and screw that. Mix together the marinade in a bowl, and one complete Brussels sprouts pair at a time, dip both halves in the marinade. Remove and let sit cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let bake for 12 minutes, then turn the sprouts and bake seven more minutes.

8 ounces tempeh, cut into thin slices, side to side rather than top to bottom

Prepare a second parchment lined baking sheet.

2 T. olive oil
1 T. tamari
a dash of liquid smoke (if desired)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Mix together the marinade in a baking pan and let the tempeh sit in it for 20 minutes, then turn all the pieces and let them marinade another 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh and set up - not touching - on the baking sheet. If there is any reserved marinade, brush over the remaining pieces.

Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, gently turn, and bake for 5 minutes more.

Cool onions, Brussels sprouts and tempeh for assembly.

5 t. grainy mustard


Take one half of a Brussels sprout, smear with the mustard, add a piece of tempeh cut to fit the size of the sprout, add some onions (I used a melon baller for this), and take the other half of the Brussels sprout. Position it so the two spouts are like the buns on a burger, with the cut sides facing each other. Secure with a toothpick: viola!

Warm on a baking pan in a 325 degree oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Enjoy!

2013, 2014, Vegan Street

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