May 9, 2014

Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Well folks, this weekend got full FAST, so I'm way behind! Lucky you, you get three posts in one day! Thank goodness I was smart and didn't plan any recipes this week that I hadn't already made, so it shouldn't take long to whip them out. 

It's been an interesting week, weather-wise. The week started out with highs in the 80's, so we ratcheted our giant window air-conditioner up to our bedroom, chained it in place, and had a lovely cool breeze through the house. That lasted about two days... then the nights started getting colder, and colder... and we now have the equivalent of a giant grate filling our window, letting that air straight in to our bedroom. Which wasn't a big deal until it dropped below freezing last night... and will be lower tomorrow... and looking like snow Sunday. Supposed to continue through Monday night. Oops. Think maybe we jumped the gun just a hair? Thank heavens for cozy sock and lots of extra blankets!

Simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts (from Cooks Illustrated)
Printable Recipe

about 2 lbs pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 Tb olive oil
1 Tb water
Salt and pepper (I like flaky, or kosher salt best)

*Optional: a few sprigs of fresh herbs, zest from 1 lemon, 4-5 peeled garlic cloves, a few pinches of red pepper flakes... This recipe is fun to play with!*

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts, oil, water, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and whatever extras you may be adding (see above) in a large bowl until the sprouts are well-coated. Dump sprouts and that little bit of liquid onto a foil-lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Flip all the sprouts over so their cut sides are facing down. If you added herbs or garlic cloves, arrange them evenly throughout the pan.

Cover sheet tightly with more foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and continue to cook until sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes longer. Transfer to serving platter, season with more salt and pepper (if needed) to taste, and serve.
Okay, so I think it's clear that I've become a sucker for Brussels sprouts in the past two years. I've fallen hard for these poor, so often hated, little veggies. They're my favorite. Our Bacon Brussels Sprouts are pretty dang awesome, but they do take a little while. A bit of slaving over a hot stove. What if I told you that you could have the most delicious, perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts on the table in under half an hour, with only a few minutes of prep, and NO slaving??
 Introducing my new addiction. Roasted sprouts. Oh. Man. These things are like candy to me, I could seriously eat the whole flippin' plate. For practically no effort (besides the actual sprout prep, with the trimming and all, their one downside) you get richly flavored, nutty, roasty, tender, gorgeous little sprouts, just plain drenched in deliciousness. I literally ate a plate of them for dinner once. Nothing else. They may look burned, and they are certainly darker than I would normally be okay with, but don't worry, they're supposed to look like this, and they don't taste burned at all. Just gorgeously roasted.
I put a bunch of suggestions up there with the recipe, I've tried adding all those "optionals" and each one is better than the last! I love the garlic and lemon, The Geologist loves red pepper flakes, the boys don't care, they just love these sprouts. You could also give them a drizzle of balsamic vinegar at the end, grate some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top... Oh, the possibilities!

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