Brussel sprouts – either you love ’em or you don’t. I absolutely adore earthy greens in abundance and quite honestly, can just eat a whole plate full of them. So it only seems fitting that I share a recipe here for anyone wondering about roasting them.
You can, of course, steam them too – a superbly clean way of cooking these little beauties. Many people do like the extra crunch and slight caramelisation of having them roasted. So, if that’s what you would like, then this is especially for you.
We tend to think of brussel sprouts as a late autumn and winter vegetable, frequently making an appearance amidst Christmas dinner platers in the northern hemisphere of the world. They are sort of like a mini little cabbage (they are related) with a rather distinctive slightly nutty, bitter-sweet taste.
You definitely do not want to overcook these. Overcooked sprouts are not really particularly nice (and probably the reason why lots of people don’t like them!). Actually, another reason that some people do not like them is probably more to do with the fact that members of the brassica family (like brussels and cabbage) contain high amounts of compounds called glucosinolates, which are responsible for the taste…. depending on your system, you will interpret this taste as either delicious or not-delicious (that is as scientific as I get hahaha).
Always buy organic and local if you can. Brussel sprouts often appear at farmers markets from October through to March. They grow on a large thick central stalk… if you buy them this way, they do keep quite a bit longer. I know that I am going to use them quickly, so I tend to buy them ready picked off the stalk.
The first thing that you need to do is chop your sprouts in half and take off any grubby outer leaves. Ideally, you need to get the spouts to roughly the same sort of size, so that they roast more evenly. Mine come in random sizes (since they are from the local organic market) in which case, the ones that are super small I keep ‘whole’ rather than chopping in half – if you know what I mean.
If you have any loose leaves falling off them, just cook them on the tray with the rest of the sprouts. Loose leaves make for nice little crisp surprises once they’ve baked.
Toss the whole lot in a bowl with a drizzle of olive (or coconut) oil and a generous sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper. Then pop them onto an oven tray.
You will want to bake them for at least 3o minutes on a high heat. Turning once or twice if you like, during the cooking period.
I use gas mark 7 (425F/220C) – nice & toastie!
- 500g (1 lb) organic brussel sprouts
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- Generous pinch of black pepper
- A drizzle of olive oil (or coconut oil)
- Cut any grubby bits off the sprouts.
- Halve the sprouts (unless there are tiny ones, in which case leave them whole). Aim to get a tray full of sprouts that are approximately the same sort of size, to allow for even baking time.
- Toss the chopped brussel sprouts in a bowl with salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil, until evenly coated.
- Spread out on a baking tray.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at gas mark 7 (425F/220C) for at least 30 minutes or until baked.
- Serve immediately.