Roasting brussels sprouts brings out their sweetness and mellows their strong flavor.
The brussels sprout is a vegetable people love to hate. It’s as pungent as a cabbage but comes in a small compact miniature head. I suspect that many people have tasted only mistreated brussels sprouts or they would look forward to them every fall as I do. Here is one of the simplest ways to prepare them and bring out their best side.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
3 lbs brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
coarse salt to taste
pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the brussels sprouts by peeling away the top 2 to 4 leaves, depending on how dirty they are. Clean them. Cut away any surplus stems. Slice large and medium-sized sprouts in half but leave the small ones whole. Put them in a roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil. Grind as much fresh pepper on them as you like and sprinkle as much salt as you like. I generally use about a teaspoon and a half of coarse salt. Turn them with a spatula until they are all coated. Put them in the oven.
It will take about 20 to 25 minutes for them to roast. You want to turn them every so often to prevent any of them from burning and to get more surface roasted. When they are tender and browned they are done.
Recipe Notes: How brown you like them is a matter of personal taste. I like mine to get to a nice medium brown where the vegetable surfaces are starting to caramelize. I don’t think they taste good being too dark and if they’re too light you miss out on the sweetness. If you like a touch of heat you can sprinkle some crushed hot pepper onto them. An alternative to using olive oil would be to use bacon fat which would compliment the flavor of the brussels sprouts well. All I want to suggest is to keep your variations simple because this dish doesn’t need much to shine.