How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

I have a new love in my life! Brussels sprouts – how could I forsake thee for so long? Okay, so maybe I exaggerate a little bit on my recent imfatuation  with that distinct Brussels sprouts taste, but not by much. I started eating Brussels sprouts again when they first showed up at my local farmer’s market at the end of the season in September, and I’ve been chomping then down ever since. At my Thanksgiving dinner table, the Brussels sprouts were the first to go. What can I say, except that a love of cruciferous vegetables clearly runs in my gene pool.

My mother now loves Brussels sprouts, but she hated them for years after being forced to eat my grandmother’s “boiled-to-death” Brussels sprouts. I think this is why so many people are afraid of these cute little cabbages. Frankly, I think people are so turned off by them because they don’t know how to cook Brussels sprouts. There are a myriad of ways to prepare them, from sauteed Brussels sprouts to steamed Brussels sprouts, but for my money nothing beats roasting them!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Brussels sprouts
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Olive oil

Instructions:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F
Rinse your Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. If you have larger ones, cut them into thirds so that all the pieces are of uniform size.
Place a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet and arrange the sprouts on the sheet cut side up. They will shrink in the oven, so don’t worry about spacing. Cram as many as you can on your one cookie sheet.
Break out your pepper mill and liberally grind black pepper all over the Brussels sprouts. I like my sprouts my a nice bite to them, so don’t be shy about your black pepper!
Coat the baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil, or whatever flavorful vegetable oil you like.
Put the sheet in the oven and bake until they have taken on an even golden brown color. Expect to have them in the oven for at least 20 minutes or so.

That’s it! Roasted Brussels sprouts are one of the easiest things in the world to make, and they are delicious. Honestly, I could eat them like potato chips because they’re that good.  Truthfully, this is more of a cooking guide than a recipe, because I think it’s too simple to be a true recipe. Feel free to modify as you see fit in terms of flavor, but in my experience less is more when it comes to Brussels sprouts. I feel a bit blasphemous saying that because I add lots of spices to almost anything, but in this instance I think it’s totally true.

Along that line, choosing high quality ingredients makes a big difference in final taste, but I’ve made this with frozen Brussels sprouts before and the end result was still delicious. Also, I don’t cook with a lot of salt (stupid family history of hypertension) but some cracked sea salt or some kosher salt would be a great addition here.

As you start planning your next dinner, consider these roasted Brussels sprouts, as I guarantee that everyone will rave about that Brussels sprouts taste.

Your turn: Do you like Brussels sprouts? What is your favorite way to prepare them?