Baton Rouge has some mighty fine home cooks, and I’m always reminded of that when I share a meal with members of my dinner club.
I recently was among the lucky guests at the home of Paul and Barbara Hoffman, who hosted a dinner that was top-notch from beginning to end. The menu was mainly made up of recipes adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ “Christmas Cooking From the Heart.”
It’s not often a side vegetable dish has guests returning for seconds or thirds, but Barbara’s choice of roasted vegetables flavored with fresh rosemary sprigs did. She shared the recipe.
Rosemary Roasted Vegetables
Serves 12. Recipe is from “Christmas Cooking From the Heart.”
1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
12 ozs. fresh whole green beans
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and chopped
12 fresh rosemary sprigs
8 slices pancetta or bacon, partially cooked, drained and chopped
2 tbls. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, halved
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash Brussels sprouts and green beans; drain. Halve any large Brussels sprouts. In a covered large saucepan, cook Brussels sprouts in a small amount of lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes; add green beans and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Transfer Brussels sprouts and beans to an ungreased, 3-quart rectangular baking pan. Add green onions and rosemary sprigs; toss to combine. Top with pancetta. Drizzle vegetable mixture with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Roast, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender and pancetta is crisp. Transfer to a serving platter and squeeze juice from lemon over the vegetables.
Note: Barbara Hoffman used the drippings from precooking the pancetta for basting the meal’s entrée, pork tenderloins, before putting the tenderloins in the oven to roast. “I think that helped them to brown up nicely,” she said.