Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I keep saying I’m going to post more recipes… I think I’ve found a workable strategy.

Blog Resolution #3: Fridays are recipe days. I know plenty of other bloggers who have ‘Friday Videos’, or ‘Menu-Planning Monday’, or some such thing. If they can stick to it, I can too. In keeping with the theme of both my blog and my life, I’ll post recipes for in-season foods – no strawberries in the dead of winter! – and mostly vegetable-based. I’ve got some plans (lightly) sketched out for a couple of months, each month dedicated to a type of vegetable, or food. January is Hearty Greens Month , next month might be soups.

You’ll have to bear with me while I learn how to best photograph my creations… It’s a process…

Now, before you all wail about how awful Brussels sprouts are, let me say that I have come to them late in life myself. I don’t think my mother ever made them – she’ll probably confirm that in the comments later. The first time I ever ate them, I thought they were terrible – a boiled, mushy stinky mess, prepared in the ‘traditional’ style (i.e. boiled to death). No wonder they were so reviled.

Then, a miracle occurred.

John and I had dinner one night at De Wolf Tavern in Bristol, RI. The chef, Sai Viswanath, makes a cornbread and Brussels sprouts hash to accompany several of the main courses. I tasted it – not without a little fear – and couldn’t get enough! (I suppose it’s telling that I can remember the hash and not what main dish I had that night!)

The difference? Instead of being boiled to moosh, the sprouts were roasted at a high temperature, retaining just a little crunch. A slight charring on the outside gave a deep, smokey flavor, with none of the nasty sulfur odor that overcooking any member of the cabbage family will get you. Honestly, they don’t even taste like the same vegetable!

While I didn’t want to go to all the trouble of recreating Sai’s hash at home, I did want to find an easy way to get some tasty sprouts on our dinning room table. I tried out several recipes, but wound up with this stripped-down-to-bare-bones version. Bacon. Sprouts. Hot oven. Plate.

Oh, my…

I haven’t tried growing Brussels sprouts yet. They’re huge plants, and require an entire season to produce – started under the lights in February, harvested after the first frost sweetens them. There’s no place in the rotation until I can get some more space opened up.

Trust me, I’m looking for more space now…

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb fresh Brussels Sprouts

4 slices thick-cut bacon

Method:

 Pre-heat the oven to 425.

Cut the bacon crosswise into matchstick-sized pieces.

Remove the stems from the sprouts, and any loose outer leaves. Cut any large (bigger than 1″)sprouts in half.

In a deep ovenproof skillet – I LOVE my cast-iron pan for this! I think it’s sold as a ‘chicken-frying pan’- cook the bacon on medium until it’s crisp and has rendered most of its fat.

Put the sprouts in with the bacon, and stir them around so they get a nice coating of the liquid fat.

Stick the whole thing in your hot oven for about 25 minutes. Stir them once, half-way through the cooking time.

This is great alongside some roasted chicken or a pork chop.

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5 thoughts on “Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  1. I confirm.. no brussel sprouts at my house!!! My mother never cooked them, so…. I have eaten them, boiled to mush almost. This is a great recipe, quite possibly I will try it. Bacon is not my thing, but to have a different veggie, well, I might try it. Thanks, daughter, for posting this.

  2. I always hated brussels sprouts but I intend to try them the
    way you suggest and maybe I will like them too. Am looking forward to other things that may change the way I cook things.
    Love you Nana

  3. I just ate roasted brussel sprouts. They looked exactly like your picture and tasted NOTHING like the old mushy ones. I highly recommend this technique!!! It was easy to do, and SOOO good. I thought I had bought too much, but in the end was back at the stove to see if any more tidbits were left in the pan!!!

    Thanks for sharing this excellent way to prepare a much maligned vegetable.

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