Brussels Sprouts have a bad reputation. They are many people’s least favorite vegetable, even it seems, some people who have never tried them (based on my informal research). I never ate them growing up, not because I didn’t like them, but because my mom was pretty sure she didn’t like them. I think I tried Brussels sprouts for the first time a couple of years ago at Whole Foods. They had roasted them whole and put them on a big platter in the prepared foods section. Not being afraid of new things (and loving their free samples), I bravely tried one. And another. Much to my surprise, they were good!
Brussels sprouts look and taste like miniature cabbages. When they are roasted, they take on a nutty flavor. Crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, they are pretty darn tasty. This recipe pairs the Brussels sprouts with some roasted whole cloves of garlic that provide additional flavor. If you are not a huge fan of garlic you could skip it, but in my house, we usually add extra.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
5 cloves garlic, peeled (or more if you like)
1/4 cup olive oil
I T. balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place the sprouts cut-side down into the skillet. Add the garlic cloves and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook without stirring until the sprouts begin to turn brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Transfer the pan to the oven. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts are crispy, brown, and tender, 15 to 30 minutes.
Remove sprouts from oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot or room temperature.
* Note: The Brussels sprouts will look very brown, possibly even a little burnt when they are ready. This is supposed to happen. (The deep color equals crispy deliciousness.) You do, however, want to take care to remove the sprouts from the oven when they are just tender in the center. You don’t want them to be mushy!