Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Roasting Brussels Sprouts

If you don't like Brussels sprouts, you haven't tried them roasted. On the West Coast, they're a real taste of the season. Here's how to roast 'em:

1. Preheat your oven to 425F.

2. Select the best Brussels sprouts you can find. We found this beautiful stalk -- about three pounds worth of perfect, tight-leaved, deep green mini-cabbages -- at the farmers' market. To remove them, just pop them off the stalk. No sweat.

3. Prep them. To do this, first I slice off 1/16" off the bottom stem. Be careful, though. You don't want to completely slice off that stem because it holds all the leaves together. Having trimmed the stem, cut an X into the bottom. Two reasons for doing this: first, it allows you to clean the inner leaves. Second, by exposing the inside, it helps the sprouts to cook faster.

Once you've trimmed and X-ed the sprouts, wash them. Usually, I'm pretty lax about washing my fruit and vegetables; just a quick rinse and I'm done. Recently, however, I found Environne fruit and vegetable wash and now I swear by it. Environne can coax out the finest grit and the tiniest bugs without leaving any residue, taste, or smell.

So put a small squeeze of Environne into a large bowl. Fill with water and drop in the sprouts. Let them soak for around 15 minutes, then rinse well.

 4. Oil and season them. This step is simple and even fun! Put a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a large Ziploc bag. Add salt and pepper to taste. Fill bag with roughly a dozen sprouts, close the zipper, then mush it around to coat those precious little globes of green.

5. Place the sprouts on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat. Put them into your preheated oven.

6. Bake for about half an hour, til the outer leaves have browned. Don't fuss over them. Just let them roast in peace. You'll be richly rewarded.

If you don't love 'em roasted, then you're incapable of appreciating this humble but delicious vegetable. Fortunately, you can use this method on any cruciferous vegetable. On Friday night, I'll be roasting some broccoli and cauliflower.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I never realized that burssells sprouts grew in clusters like that -- makes sense, though. I discovered roasting vegetables last year and will try roasting brussells sprouts as every vegetable I've roasted has been delicious. One of my favorites are haricot vert green beans -- if you roast them too long they make great "french fry" substitutes as they are very thin and get very crunchy.