Roasted Brussel Sprouts
For many of you, I know that brussel sprouts is a tough sell. And I know that for an equal number of you, nothing I can say will make you ever voluntarily eat another brussel sprout. I used to be one of you. However, several years ago, I had the pleasure of tasting some deep fried brussel spouts at a local restaurant. And I do mean pleasure, because frankly they were damn tasty.
That experience gave me faith that I could indeed find more sprouts I liked, and I started working them into my dinners more frequently. After a few attempts, some good versions, some bad versions, I found that roasting the brussel sprout is the way to go. It’s not quite a tasty as deep fried, but let’s be honest, deep frying kinda takes the point out of eating vegetables. In this recipe video, I demonstrate my technique for cooking roasted brussel sprouts.
Recipe Overview and Keys to Success
- My technique calls for two cooking steps; first a par boil and then a sauté. It’s important not to overcook your brussel sprouts; you want to use the knife technique I show you to tell the doneness (as well as watch the clock).
- I cook them twice to ensure they are fully cooked but not burned. If I cooked them fully in the water I could get them cooked, but not browned. If I only cooked them in the pan, the outside of the spout would be burned by the time the inside is done. Thus the combo cooking methods.
- After the first cooking, the par boiling, make sure you “shock” the sprouts by putting them into ice cold water. This sets the nice green color, and stops the cooking process
- When you start to sauté the brussel spouts, don’t mess with them too much. Leaving them alone will help ensure they get a nice brown color to them and develop that great flavor and texture
- Clean the sprouts by removing the bottom layer of the stem, and any outer leaves that have blemishes
- Cut the sprouts into halves or quarters (depending on the size you like) from top to bottom - so that the stem holds the leaves together
- Drop the cut sprouts into salted boiling water for 3 – 4 minutes, or until they are just starting to get soft (stick a knife into them to tell their texture). You are not cooking them all the way through.
- Remove the sprouts from the water and drop them in a bowl of ice water until they are cool to the touch
- Drain them from the water
- You can go up to this point several hours ahead of time. If I cook them ahead, I just wrap them in a moist paper towel and place them in the fridge until I’m ready to caramelize them.
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and once hot, add a few tablespoons of olive oil
- Remove any excess water from the brussel sprouts and place them in the hot pan, cut side down
- Season with salt and pepper
- Let them cook on that side for about 2 minutes or until the brussel sprouts have browned on that side
- Toss them in the pan, and turn the sprouts so the un-browned side is now on the heat; and let that side brown
- Cook them until they are tender and nicely browned on all sides
- Taste one, and add any salt or pepper if needed
The mighty brussel sprout has gone from fiend to friend in my book, largely because of this roasted cooking technique. They go great with so many dishes, and since you can do half the work ahead of time, they’re pretty simple to make.
By the way, tossing in a few bacon lardons, is a pretty sweet addition to these brussel sprouts.