Thursday, December 24, 2009

Roasted brussels sprouts

I feel sorta bad. I mean, here it is, Christmas Eve and all, and here's me, the Jew of the group, up to bat.

Truth is, although we don't celebrate Christmas as "our holiday," Baroy and I (and the kids, once they arrived) have spent every single Christmas since 1994 with two of our closest friends. Over the years we've developed a list of must-not-deviate-from traditions, several of them involving food. And so, tomorrow night, we will feast on eggplant parmesan made with home-made sauce that is to die for. (Plus, I might make some latkes, since our friends didn't get any this season. And maybe even a little applesauce to go with. But that's a whole other holiday...which has already passed!)

Here's the problem with my trying to share that menu: Marc makes the eggplant, and Glen makes the sauce, and I have neither recipe on hand. I'll get them; I promise. But for now? You get brussels sprouts.

Now, I realize that sounds awfully Scrooge-y. I mean, there you are, visions of sugarplums dancing in your heads, having spent weeks on end baking scores cookies and pies and figgy pudding, and here I am, pushing veggies.

Trust me on this one, though. World's simplest recipe. World's most delicious veggies. We're eating them twice a week here (although by "we" I most certainly do not mean N, who eats nothing green, even going so far as to refuse Granny Smith apples). Em, who only recently refused to even smell brussels sprouts, now requests them. Frequently. The other night, while waiting for dinner to finish cooking, we ate them like popcorn, straight out of a bowl, as delectable hors d'oeuvres, giggling in delight the whole time.

Besides, you know you need something green to put on the table, if only for color balance in the family photos.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts (as many or as few as you like, depending on how many people will be eating them)
salt (I prefer Kosher salt for most of my cooking, and this recipe is no exception)
olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400.

2. Wash and pat dry the brussels sprouts. Trim the stalk end of each sprout, and remove any dirty or discolored outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half.

3. Place cut brussels sprouts in plastic baggie; pour in enough olive oil to coat the brussels sprouts you've prepared, and add in a generous amount of salt. (I like my brussels sprouts a bit salty; you may want to be less generous.)

4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, then pour oil-coated brussels sprouts out of plastic bag. Place them in single layer, cut side down, on the parchment.

5. Roast (or is it bake, since it's on a baking sheet? I really need to learn my cooking terminology) for 10 to 15 minutes. You want them to get really, really brown on the bottom, and even for some of the outer leaves' edges to burn a little; this seems to caramelize the sugars in the sprouts, takes any bitterness out, and makes them taste more than a little bit like toasted veggie marshmallows. (Don't believe me? Try 'em.) Serve.

Like I said: Couldn't be simpler.

For those of you who are brussels afficionadoes, I'm sure this is all old hat to you. In fact, you're probably saying, "Oh sure, TC, those are nice, but you've gotta try my favorite brussels sprout recipe." And I do gotta try it. Which means you have to leave me the recipe. In the comment section, below. And thank you.

Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate. Can't wait to hear all about your day!


  1. This is exactly how I make my brussel sprouts. And I will vouch for you: absolutely YUM. My mom used to steam them... Not so yum. This is one vegetable that benefits from the caramelization a lot!!

  2. Wow, I was all prepared to sneer at the lowly sprout until I read this line:
    "... takes any bitterness out..."
    I have always loather brussel sprouts for this very reason. Now, I will give them another try. I may even make my husband try them. He'll think I've lost my mind, of course. LOL

  3. Okay, okay, okay. I'm trying them. They'll be on our table tomorrow. Thanks!

  4. i make these a lot and i cut up bacon and put it in with them and the olive oil and i cook them a lot longer than 10 or 15 minutes... like 30 or 40 minutes turning them 3 or 4 times... i usually cook them at 400... but my oven cooks a bit low i think.

  5. They are the best ever. I adore any and all veggies and when my perfect niece told me about these I rushed out bought the biggest box I could find... I am not a salt person, I never cook with salt but I did sprinkle some Kosher salt on them after I was beaten up!!! No matter which way they are awesome... brought some over to my friends home and she loved them, he didn't. Good, more for us... we ate them like candy...

  6. We MUST make sure Pixie gets this recipe.

    ; )

  7. This is how I do them, too, although I did roast them once coated in some cornmeal seasoned with Indian spices, and that was good, too. But roasting is definitely the key.

    Oh yeah, and I made lima bean and brussels sprouts curry with frozen brussels sprouts that was delicious.

  8. These were awesome. I added balsamic vinegar at the table. Ono!