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 pick these roasted emerald jewels out of the pan and munch on them like candy.
Roasted brussels sprouts are my sister Karen’s contribution to our holiday dinners. Ridiculously 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 the sprouts generously as they are going into the oven, more than you might normally salt vegetables. Once out of the oven, taste and salt again if need be.
The recipe calls for a pound of brussels sprouts. We’ll usually make a little more, just so we have more to snack on. We can eat them like popcorn!
Updated from the recipe archive. First posted 2009.
You can easily vary the recipe by sprinkling the sprouts with cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, or tossing in some thyme or roasted chestnuts. They're also delicious with pine nuts, which you can either add near the end of cooking or toast separately and toss with the sprouts once they are roasted. Terrific with bacon or pancetta too.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed, rough outer leaves of larger sprouts removed
- 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.
Adjust the timing depending on the size of the sprouts and your particular oven. The sprouts should be nicely browned, some of the outside leaves crunchy, the interior should be cooked through. So if the sprouts look like they are getting too browned (they should be well browned, not burnt), move them to a lower rack or lower the heat.
Add more salt to taste. (Salting sufficiently is the key to success with this recipe.)