Roasting brussels sprouts brings out their deep nutty flavor. In fact, I've seen roasted brussels sprouts convert more than one avowed brussels sprouts-hater into a brussels sprouts-lover. Convert the haters in your life with ease using the 5 steps below!
Want to venture away from ubiquitous roasted sprouts? Find more brussels sprouts recipes here.
1. Start With Fresh Brussels Sprouts
As with all fruits and vegetables, start with fresh brussels sprouts. Look for outer leaves that are dark green and vibrant and stem ends that aren't brown or dried out. Avoid brussels sprouts that have bruising, cuts, or browned leaves. If you see brussels sprouts on the stalk for sale, snap them up - they will stay fresher longer than sprouts that have been picked off and sold loose.
Plan on about 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of raw brussels sprouts per person.
2. Cut Off Ends of Brussels Sprouts
Work with one brussels sprout at a time – cut off and discard the stem end. Repeat with all the brussels sprouts before going on to the next step (this is a trick professional chefs follow that home cooks would do well to mimic: complete all of one step before moving to the next to speed things up in the kitchen).
3. Trim Outside Leaves from Brussels Sprouts
Pull off and discard the outside leaves of the brussels sprouts. Just the first layer is fine or, if you want to tone down the intensity of the brussels sprouts flavor, peel off enough leaves to reveal a softer green. Repeat with all brussels sprouts.
I find this peeling process to be well worth the time. The outer leaves are tougher and take longer to cook, and can lead to overly roasted sprouts. Don't worry, you don't need to toss all those pretty leaves out - wrap them loosely in plastic and make Seared Brussels Sprouts Leaves within a few days!
4. Roast Brussels Sprouts
Put the trimmed brussels sprouts in a roasting or baking pan. Drizzle them with oil (grapeseed is a good neutral-tasting oil, olive oil adds a lovely flavor) and sprinkle them with salt.
Now you have a choice. You can make crunchier roasted brussels sprouts or softer roasted brussels sprouts:
For crunchier brussels sprouts: Simply pop this pan of sprouts in a hot oven (about 375°F is good) and roast until browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes.
For softer brussels sprouts: Pour about 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock into the pan, cover, and put in a hot oven for 20 minutes, uncover and continue roasting until sprouts are browned and liquid is completely evaporated, about another 15 minutes.
5. Serve Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serve roasted brussels sprouts hot or at least warm - they will keep warm and yummy for up to 30 or even 45 minutes if you cover them and set them in a warm place.
Now is the time to drizzle on balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, cover with shavings of Parmesan cheese, spritz with lemon juice, or add a few drops of hot chile oil if you want to serve them with additional flavors.