Those of you who grew up being told, “No leaving the dinner table until you finish your Brussels sprouts,” will have to explain to me: What was so bad about them? The taste? Texture? The way they were prepared?
Of all the vegetables in the world, how did the Brussels sprout become synonymous with nastiness?
I don’t remember eating a Brussels sprout until as an adult — the most memorable were the pan-roasted sprouts at the South Gate restaurant in Manhattan, where my crew and I popped them like candy. I literally couldn’t stop picking at them. They were remarkable.
Sort of forgot about Brussels sprouts, until I spied a bag in Trader Joe’s the other day.
Let’s make some sprouts!
This is Mark Bittman’s recipe, and it’s for roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic. Not much to it — take the sprouts, trim off the bottoms and split them in half lengthwise.
Heat up a pan with several tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat, and lay the sprouts cut-side down. Toss in about 5-6 garlic cloves, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
When the sprouts are golden brown on the bottom, transfer the pan to a 450 degree oven (450 sounded a little high — I went with 425), and cook for about 30 minutes, until the sprouts are nicely browned all over.
Toss with a tbsp of balsamic vinegar, and if you’d like, grate on some fresh Parmesan. (I always do that — pushes a dish over the top.)
And there you’ve got roasted Brussels sprouts.
It would be impossible for anyone not to like Brussels sprouts prepared this way. In fact, I’m so confident, if you make this recipe and aren’t satisfied, email me and I’ll send you a full refund… wait, what am I saying, this isn’t an infomercial, and I’m not Ron Popeil.
But you get my point. These are delicious. Had parents only cooked them like this back in the day, no kid would have complained, and Brussels sprouts wouldn’t suffer from their current image problem.
Maybe I’ll try making these for my 3 and 5-year old nieces over Christmas. That’ll be an interesting test.