Roasted Brussels Sprouts

>>  Thursday, January 21, 2010

I love oven roasted Brussels sprouts.  Similar to the way roasting glorifies its humble cruciferous cousin, the cauliflower, oven roasting transforms Brussels sprouts as well, but even better!  Brussels sprouts have these thin leaves that, when roasted, crisp up into these addictive crunchy morsels, not unlike the kale "chips" I made recently.  And I just can't stop eating them.  Seriously, I was making these at night after dinner and then I ended up gobbling up like 1/3 of the tray before I forced myself to stop.  By the way, they do taste the best straight out of the oven!
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Make sure to cut off the hard bottom and any leaves that look wilted.  I also like cutting up the sprouts in half (or big ones in quarters) to speed up the cooking time.  Plus, cutting ensures that all the pieces are relatively the same size, which ensures even cooking.

Blanching is optional, but it allows you to roast at a higher temperature to crisp up the edges.  I blanched my Brussels sprouts for just a few minutes before shocking them with cold water.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper until well coated.  The key, actually, is to add quite a bit of salt.  Add a bit more than you would normally add for other vegetables.  For some reason, salt really makes this dish stand out.
I peeled off some leaves because I wanted more crunchy bits. :)  Roast for about 20 minutes, but check periodically to see how they are doing.  Once they are a nicely brown and tender (with crispy edges!) you can take them out. If you did not blanch then earlier, check one to make sure it's tender all the way through.  At that point, if it's also nicely brown and tender, you're done!

Note: I used a convection microwave oven to make this.  I basically set the oven to cook for 30 minutes (this includes preheat time) at 400 degrees.  The Brussels Sprouts came out perfectly after the 30 minutes was up.

That's it!  So easy!  And honesty - so incredibly delicious!  Brussels sprouts pair amazingly well with smoked meats, such as bacon, guianciale, etc.  Experiment!  This recipe is super flexible.  I might try pulling off all the leaves next time and try making Brussels sprouts "chips"!

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