Eating seasonally is key for flavor, and Winter is when Brussels sprouts shine. When I was growing up, the only time I ever heard of Brussels sprouts was in TV sitcoms, when the kids refused to eat it.
The undiscovered green veggie jewel
Truth be told, I did not even know what they looked like. Nor did I ever cook with them until the last few years. Now that I’ve discovered them, I don’t know what all the negative press was about.
These things are delicious, nutritious (loaded with vitamins K, C, and A, folate, manganese, and potassium), and — like many vegetables — the best preparations are often the simplest. Brussels sprouts have a naturally high sugar content, but you need to coax out the sweetness with time and heat.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4 as a side.
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pinch of sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the sprouts in half through the north and south poles (not equator). You may elect to remove the nub of a stem, but it’s really unnecessary. Drizzle some olive oil on top and toss with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.
- Lay the cut sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet or casserole pan and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
- After 30 minutes start checking to see how they are coming along. Do not be afraid to get some color on them. I prefer mine quite dark and almost burnt looking. The inside will have a creamy almost custardy consistency, and the sugars will caramelize.
Some options to try
If you want to spruce things up a bit, try adding bacon (cut up in small, ¼-inch pieces) in the last 10 minutes of baking. Try pairing it with grilled beef, guava, or mustard. They all share the same flavor profiles, so you might discover a new combination you like.