If you had told me as a kid that Brussels sprouts would become one of my favorite foods, I would have thrown my popsicle at you, and run off in the opposite direction. These little cabbages are so easy to prepare and eat, but a few wrong moves during prep and it’s no wonder they get a bad rap.
Steamed sprouts are fine if you enjoy mushy, bitter, and just generally unappetizing vegetables. It’s not to say that they can’t be good steamed, but why do that when you can roast them and skyrocket their flavor with just a few additional minutes in the oven. Prep your sprouts by peeling off any loose or browning leaves, then trim a bit from the bottom, and give them a good rinse. Now I like to cut them in half when roasting them, to speed up the process, and provide maximum area for caramelized goodness. Line them up like little solider’s on your baking sheet, drizzle them with a little olive oil, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for twenty-five to thirty minutes.
Now from this point, you can keep them as simple or as jazzy as you’d like. If they are serving as a side, I usually just sprinkle a few dashes of sea salt and black pepper on the tops, and let their flavor shine through. But, if these little guys are going to be a feature of my meal, I like to survey my vinegars, oils, spices, and herbs to give’em a little extra punch. See two of our family favorites below:
Asian Explosion: whisk together one TBSP honey, one TBSP soy sauce, one TBSP peanut oil, one TSP sesame oil, half TSP sea salt, quarter TSP garlic powder, eighth TSP ginger powder. Drizzle your mixture over your arranged sprouts and bake. Once slightly cooled, Toss your cooked sprouts with a cup of cooked rice noodles, then top with fresh shredded carrot and cabbage.
Spanish Delight: add a half cup of slivered almonds to a bowl, and sprinkle with a half TBSP of pimento, a TSP of sea salt, and a TBSP of olive oil; combine thoroughly. Toss the sprouts with the almond mixture, then arrange on your tray and bake. Once cooked, pour the sprouts over a piece of pan seared fish, and add two TBSP chopped olives, and a dash of olive oil over top.
Regardless of the international direction you choose to take your sprouts in, one skill is paramount when consuming large quantities of brussels: crop dusting, or the act of farting while walking or running, so as to not be suspect as the gas passer. If you do not possess this skill, we suggest you buy a dog.