Roasted Brussels Sprouts
If you show up at my father’s house with a bagful of fresh brussels sprouts to be cooked, he will howl and complain like a 3-year old confronted with liver and onions. Such then, is the sweet satisfaction of seeing this dyed-in-the-wool brussels sprouts avoider picking these roasted emerald jewels out of the pan and munching on them like candy. Roasted brussels sprouts were my sister Karen’s contribution to our Christmas dinner this year. Dead easy to make (Karen usually doesn’t bother with trimming the ends), you can roast them right in a cast iron frying pan in the oven. The key to success (according to my sister and I agree with her completely on this) is salt. Salt generously on the way in, more than you might normally salt vegetables. Once out of the oven, taste and salt again if need be.
Variations include adding pine nuts, cider vinegar, roasted chestnuts, or thyme. Also great with bacon or pancetta. If adding pine nuts, add them during the last 5 minutes of cooking, or brown them separately and add to the finished dish.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brussels sprouts in a cast iron frying pan (or a roasting pan, but a cast iron frying pan will work great for this recipe). Toss in the garlic. Sprinkle Brussels sprouts with lemon juice. Toss with oil so that the sprouts are well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt (at least a half teaspoon) and a few turns of black pepper.
2 Put Brussels sprouts in oven on top rack, cook for 20 minutes, then stir so that the sprouts get coated with the oil in the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with Parmesan (if using) and cook for another 5 minutes.
The sprouts should be nicely browned, some of the outside leaves crunchy, the interior should be cooked through.
Add more salt to taste. (Salting sufficiently is the key to success with this recipe.)