Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The first time I ever cooked or even tried Brussels sprouts was for this last Christmas dinner. I had heard they were delicious roasted, but I was still apprehensive because I am quite the picky eater; however, I realized I must practice what I preach and try them! We had my grandma over for Christmas dinner and when we told her we would be having Brussels sprouts you could nearly see the fear in her eyes. She told me she was not a fan, but would try them if I made them.
If you are anything like my grandma, you may have heard things about Brussels sprouts being nasty, flavorless baby cabbages. The misunderstanding of Brussels sprouts occurs in the cooking process. Historically, Brussels sprouts were boiled, why you ask me? I have absolutely no idea...However, like most ingredients, as long as they're cooked appropriately then they will taste fantastic! The pictures below (taken from a couple fantastic blogs... check them out!) represent two of the main cooking methods: boiling vs. roasting. In this article we will discuss roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven to impart the most flavor possible. Do not fear the Brussels sprout-- it really is delicious!
It is critical that you take the time to prepare these correctly. If you do not then you may experience the reason why people have despised them over the years. You will notice that the outer leaves of the Brussels sprout are a bit tougher, so go ahead and remove a few of them so you get to the tender core. At that point cut off the stem and depending on the size, cut them in half. Oh, and preheat the oven to 400 degree F!
The next step is simple, but is probably the most important part of the roasting process-- it allows the flavor of the Brussels sprout to really shine through. Simply toss them in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic pepper so that they are evenly coated. If you like this cooking technique, try it with other vegetables like broccoli and asparagus!
Okay, who does not love bacon? Because in my opinion it makes EVERYTHING better. I just happened to have leftover bacon so I used it in this recipe, but I promise it is just as good without it. If you want to get really fancy you can use Italian pancetta-- it is a lot like bacon, but lacks the smoky flavor. It is delicate and incredibly delicious. It is a little pricey, so feel free use bacon-- it is just as good!
My favorite part of this dish is the delicious cheese crisps that adhere to the Brussels sprouts throughout the cooking process. You can really use any hard cheese you can find. I do not even remember the first cheese I used, but I know it was a hard cheese from a cheese factory in Seattle and it was delectable! However, your regular shredded parmesan cheese would work just fine in this recipe. I happened to have a shredded Italian cheese mix and used that. Cook at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes checking to ensure the bottoms get golden brown, but not burnt. My recommendation for this recipe is to open it up to exploration--it would be hard to mess it up. Just make it your own, whatever you do!
Over the years, I have discovered that some of my favorite foods are the ones that I had to step out of my comfort zone. I would encourage you to try the same-- I think you will be pleasantly surprised. By roasting Brussels sprouts you bring out a nutty flavor and create the perfect texture. I really hope that you enjoy these and get hooked just like I did!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove outer leaves of Brussels sprout, stem, and cut in half if large.
- Toss Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, bacon, and a shredded hard cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, Halved
- 3 slices Bacon, Chopped
- 1/2 cup Hard cheese--Parmesan, Shredded
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil
- Salt, pepper, & garlic powder