It’s Brussels sprouts season! Woot-woot! While, this news would not have made ten-year-old me do a happy dance, adult me knows that Brussels sprouts are actually delicious. It’s all in the cooking. Roasted Brussels sprouts are a little sweet, a little salty, with a nice crunch. Totally different from the gray-green, soggy, bitter sprouts we had growing up. They’re so good you’re going to want to make them every night, and you’ll cry real tears when the season ends. Ok, perhaps that’s just a tiny bit dramatic, but this recipe will definitely help you see the bright side of these delicious little veggies.
Here’s how to make roasted Brussels sprouts
Selecting the best sprouts
The first thing you want to do is to pick good sprouts. Sounds obvious, right? Stores sell so many really awful Brussels sprouts, though, that it’s sometimes hard to do. While roasting will make nearly any Brussels sprouts tasty, they’ll be really irresistible if you use the smallest, freshest ones you can find. Look for Brussels sprouts that are bright green, and no larger than about 1 1/4″ (2.5 cm) in diameter. Brussels sprouts the size of a US quarter or a 2 Euro coin are great. If you can find smaller ones, that’s even better. Pass on any that are damaged or yellowish.
My local supermarket only sells Brussels sprouts by the bag. I always pick the bag with the smallest sprouts, but there are inevitably a few golf balls in there:
For quantity, about one handful per person should suffice. This is not a dish you really want leftover since the crispiness goes away in the refrigerator.
- Fresh Brussels sprouts (about one handful per serving)
- Olive oil
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
First, trim the ends where they were cut from the stalk. Then, remove the outer leaves if they:
- don’t wrap tightly around the sprout (the loose outer leaves tend to be bitter)
- are badly damaged
- are yellowed or wilted (for example, if time got away from you and they’ve been hanging around in the fridge for a while)
Next, rinse and drain the trimmed Brussels sprouts. Shake-off as much water as you can, but don’t worry about drying them completely.
This next step is a bit of a judgement call. Leave the really small ones whole, but cut any Brussels sprouts that are bigger than about 3/4″ in half. That will likely be most of your sprouts. I even cut the ones that are golf ball-size in quarters.
Put the cut sprouts, the tiny whole ones, and any leaves that fall off, in a single layer on a baking tray.
Drizzle the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt (about 1/4 teaspoon for 4 servings) and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss to coat completely:
Put the baking tray with the sprouts in your oven and roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.
Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven and turn/toss the Brussels sprouts so that the browned sides are now up (mostly):
Return the tray to the oven and continue roasting the Brussels sprouts for 5-10 minutes more. The total cooking time will depend upon your oven. If you check them after 5 additional minutes and they’re not done, toss them again before you put them back in.
When they’re done, they should be cooked, but not soggy, and look something like this:
The goal is sprouts that are well-browned, but not burned. It took me a few tries to get the time right for my oven, so if you are unsure, just check them more frequently.
Serve the roasted Brussels sprouts while they’re still hot, right from the oven. If you do need to wait a bit before serving, keep them on the baking tray, not heaped in a bowl. This will keep them from steaming each other and getting soggy. When you’re ready to serve them, they can be reheated for a minute or two in the oven, or just served at room-temperature.
What nutrients are in Brussels sprouts?
In case you’re wondering, Brussels sprouts fall pretty high on the ‘powerhouse veggie’ scale. According to the USDA they have quite a few nutrients. Click here for all the details. I also found an interesting article from the Harvard School of Public Health about the benefits of veggies in general. You can click here to read it. It details some of the specific things that eating different vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, can do to improve health and prevent disease.
Hopefully you are now hooked on roasted Brussels sprouts and will be serving them at every meal! Ok, yes, that would be a bit too much, even for me, but do enjoy them while they’re in season.
As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments. Don’t forget to subscribe to Creatorvox to get new posts right in your email. You can also follow Creatorvox on Facebook and Twitter for more tips and tricks between posts. Thanks for reading, and happy making!