Friday, July 15, 2011

i ♥ b. s.

The power of this innocuous teeny vegetable to strike fear into the hearts of grown adults (and of course, children) astounds me. They're often named alongside such villains as lima beans and spinach and used by parents to torture their children into healthy eating. But fear not, foodie friends, for this little guy is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, he's quite tasty if you treat him well. But heed my warning: beware of the boil! Boiling veggies is just wrong. I don't care how much the cool kids pressure you to do it, don't. Be strong. Your brussels will thank you. Instead, roast them.

Roasting veggies is the absolute best way to bring out their natural flavor, add interesting texture and turn what could be scary into a delightful dish. (I'm thankful for this, because when I lived in Belfast, my "cooker" as they call them - oven/stove combo - was pretty old and pathetic. The only reliable heat came from sauteing or roasting...baking was a nightmare in it. I roasted everything: cauliflower, red peppers, zucchini, carrots mmm.) I'll walk you through the easy peasy steps of roasting brussels sprouts. The Barefoot Contessa's recipe here is pretty much the same.
First: apologize to your sprouts for years of misunderstanding and judgment: for feeding them to the dog when your parents weren't looking, for that disgusted face you make when you hear their name, for making a large arc in the produce section of your grocery store just so you can avoid them. Don't worry, brussels sprouts are forgiving little things. Reconciliation's always possible. Okay, moving on...

I used one package of brussels sprouts: about a pound. This makes enough for 4 skeptics or 2 adoring fans of brussels sprouts (you'll all wind up being adoring fans, I promise). Trim up your sprouts: cut off the very bottom and remove any dodgy-looking outer leaves. If you have larger sprouts, half them. Put them in a bowl with 3 tablespoons evoo (extra-virgin olive oil), 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper. Toss together. Then let those brussels spread out on a sheet pan. Roast them at 375 degrees F/190 degrees C for 35-45 minutes, giving them a little shake every 10 minutes or so to help them brown evenly. They're going to get pretty caramelized: don't worry, you're not burning them. They're meant to get a good amount of color on the outside.

Once out of the oven, give them another little light sprinkle of salt (unless you need to go light on this) and get ready to have your world rocked.

Crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. You'll never look at a brussels sprout the same way again.

Bon appetit!


  1. The roasted BS is my newest love. I can't believe I hated them for years. I'm in love. I also roast everything and boil nothing. Boiling = creepy. Don't scare your veggies, love them.

  2. They are de-licious. I want to try em with a bit of parmesan sprinkled on, too. I am also a fan of sauteed BS with bacon (I am Texan, after all) but these are even better! I agree, Jessi. Boiling is bad news.

  3. (I may or may not have just eaten a few leftover brussels sprouts cold from the fridge as a snack.)