16 Jan 2011 Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts ruined every Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for the first thirty years of my life.  It was a rule, in my house, that everyone had to eat one Brussels sprout at Thanksgiving dinner and another at Christmas dinner. I dreaded Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.  Brussels Sprouts were bitter, soggy and all around YUCKY.  I would choke. I would gag.  My stomach would lurch.  I’d grimace.  My family would laugh, but show no mercy. It had to be swallowed. It usually took two bites. Although Brussels Sprouts were number one on my most hated foods list, there were other foods on the list, too: lima beans, pancakes, corn and maple syrup. But! Lima beans, pancakes, corn and maple syrup didn’t constitute a power struggle with my parents.  Brussels sprouts did.

I was thirty years old before I had the wherewithal to refuse to eat one more Brussels sprout.  When I put down my fork that Christmas, I didn’t pick it up again, for ANY Brussels sprout, for another twenty years.  Whatever possessed me to try Brussels sprouts again, I don’t know, but when I was fifty years old I found out Brussels sprouts could be rendered edible if they were fresh and roasted.  My parents used to serve frozen Brussels sprouts that had been boiled.  Please! Don’t do this!

Buy fresh Brussels sprouts, preferably on the stalk, and preferably after the first frost (Brussels sprouts that have been nipped by frost are sweeter).  Old green beans don’t taste good, neither do old carrots or old mushrooms.  Cook the Brussels sprouts soon after harvest, and roast them using the recipe below (which is based on a recipe I found at Epicurious.com in 2004).  They’re GOOD!

Of all my hated foods, the only one left on the list is lima beans. And I’m afraid that I raised my kids to hate them, too.  I told them they never, ever, ever have to eat a lima bean. Then wouldn’t you know, a very nice, very personable college boy takes a liking to one of my daughters.  After awhile, he invites her over to his parents farm to have lunch with his parents.  His parents are lima bean farmers, ROFL!!  She had lima beans for lunch!! Fortunately, the relationship hasn’t progressed to the point where I have been invited to meet the parents and have lima beans for lunch!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 oz. pancetta, minced (2 oz. thick, good quality bacon can be substituted)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white wine (or chicken broth)

salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, toss together sprouts, pancetta, garlic, oil, wine and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a shallow baking pan.  Make sure the Brussels sprouts are laying flat in a single layer.
  3. Roast Brussels sprouts for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Turn over, and roast for an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Serve hot.  Makes four servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today! Go ahead!  Make this recipe! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

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9 Responses
  1. Becky says:

    I have to try these… Olav’s favorite is BS and I need a new recipe!!

  2. Polly says:

    rofl…his favorite?! of all the veggies in the world. Brussels sprouts are his favorite?!

  3. Ashley says:

    I already enjoy brussel sprouts, but this may encourage my husband to eat them as well. I always make them when he is out of town. I have only ever steamed them with butter. This sounds even more delicious.

  4. John says:

    Polly – OK, you’re on. My recipe against yours! I’m going to try these this weekend. They sound great.

    John

  5. Polly says:

    You’re on, John! …and winner gets what????

  6. Lettie says:

    yum…this is like my recipe except I’ve used bacon and add a squirt of lemon juice right before serving.

  7. Ashley says:

    Okay, wow. Best flavor ever. Seriously delicious. I made these last night, and Justin and I both loved them. He was really excited about the meat in the dish, but the carmelized flavor was really really good. This is for sure going to be something I add to our recipe book. Thanks Polly.

  8. Sarah says:

    Well, I made these tonight. I don’t know if my oven is too hot (I’d roasted a chicken in it prior to these) or what, but instead of making caramelized sprouts mine are CARBONIZED. I’ll try again at a lower temp and watch more closely. I still think they’re good, but I’m not sure anyone else agrees.

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