Friday, April 19, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

First of all, I used to despise Brussels sprouts. They have this smell that made me go blegh, they look like little cabbages which skeeved me out, and they just sound nasty. Also, I had no idea they were actually called "Brussels sprouts" with the capitalized 'B' and the 's' at the end - not "brussel sprouts" - until two weeks ago. How dumb am I?

However, as I like to pride myself as the type of person who will always try something once (that is hyperbole of course, as I will never try eating dog and I will never try to murder someone, etc) I decided that I should have a go at Brussels sprouts. The market had small-ish packages on sale so I grabbed a bag and decided to make them for Easter dinner (as you might've seen in my roast chicken post).

Brussels sprouts have been somewhat trendy for the past few years - I've seen Ina Garten, Bobby Flay, Ree Drummond, among others, make them on Food Network a bunch of times so I already knew what I was going to do: toss in olive oil, season, and roast until edges are crispy. A few of the FN chefs added a bit of lemon, some added balsamic reduction, some added a bunch of herbs, but I decided to keep it simple so that 1) I'd learn what these vegetables actually tasted like without the mask of a dressing and 2) if they ended up being horrible, I didn't want to have wasted any lemon/balsamic/what have you.

And just so you know, if you've never had Brussels sprouts before, I did end up enjoying them so you should also give them a go. They're high in sulforophane (also found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables) which some scientists believe are anti-cancerous, so even if you eat one and it's horrible, at least you're being healthy.

Okay, so enough blah-blah-blah-ing, onto the recipe!

Ingredients:
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Start by cleaning the sprouts. I like to trim off the brown bits at the ends for aesthetic reasons more than anything. Also, remove any leaves that are yellowing or worse, browning. Then, cut the larger sprouts into quarters and halve the smaller sprouts. If you have any super small sprouts, like the size of a cranberry, leave those whole.

Place the sprouts in a bowl and add in the olive oil and toss. Then add in salt and pepper and toss again.
Place the sprouts on a sheet pan, in a single layer. Place in a 450 oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges are browned and crispy.
Serve warm and don't let them get soggy. I admit that these may look a little over-charred but personally, I think that made them taste better. I did pull them out of the oven a bit early and had a taste while they were quite green allover and I didn't much care for them. But do as you please! That's what's great about being your own chef, right?
Here's the recipe page:

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