Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I think the vast majority of us were scarred by brussel sprouts in some way or another as children. I remember one sad evening when I begrudgingly sat at the table for 30 minutes staring at a plateful of over-cooked, boiled brussel sprouts. After many threats of no dessert, I finally caved and put one in my mouth...that resulted in some gagging and don’t need to know the rest of the gory details. My dad thinks this story is hilarious (it was he who demanded I eat them or else!)...he had no idea the effect that night had on me! Alas, I went for nearly two decades without allowing a sprout to pass my lips! And then...a revelation! There is another way to cook a sprout...drum roll...ROASTING!  Roasting takes them from a sad, soggy, slimy veggie, to a glorious, delightfully crunchy and deliciously yummy sweet baby cabbage! Oh heaven!
Okay, so, why this long story? Just give me the recipe already, you say! Well, I want all of you with similar tales to give brussel sprouts another chance! They are so good when roasted that my husband and I will fight over the last one! Oh and if you needed another reason besides taste, roasting is much more healthy than boiling...
You can make these straight up with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper & sugar. Or if you want to make them less healthy (but a little more yummy) try adding the bacon crumbles...they may act as a disguise when serving them to your family...

1 lb of brussel sprouts, trimmed and depending on the size of the sprout, halved or quartered
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
3 Tbl onion, finely minced (optional)
3 slices of bacon (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400F

Toss the cut brussel sprouts in a mixing bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar till all the sprouts are evenly coated.  Spread them out on a baking pan lined with foil. Roast for 17 - 20 minutes, or until sprouts have started to brown and the top leaves get a little crispy. Serve and watch skeptical faces break out into huge, happy grins!

If you want to add the bacon:
Cook bacon slices in a skillet. Once bacon is crispy, remove from pan and save only enough of the bacon grease to coat the bottom of the skillet. Chop bacon and set aside. Add the minced onion to skillet lightly coated in bacon grease and cook for five minutes. Add onion along with the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar to the brussel sprouts. Follow the directions above. Plate sprouts and sprinkle them with bacon crumbles.

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