Adriana’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Autumnal Awesome)

24 Oct

If you’ve never seen Brussels sprouts in the fields, you really should try to get a look. Now is the time; they reach their peak in November and December (which is why so many of us have them at our Thanksgiving table) and so may very well be growing at your nearest farm right now. They look like tropical ornamental succulents – a thick stem studded with  green bulbs and topped with lush foliage — and you’d never-ever think of them as something as pedestrian as cabbage. But mini-cabbages are exactly what they are (Brassica oleracea, Gemmifera).

Before cooking (we also did roasted asparagus)

I didn’t like them as a kid – the old sulfurous smelly thing that kids are ever-so sensitive to – but I adore them as an adult. Here at mine we usually do some sort of boil with lemon and such for Turkey Day (more about that in November), but when Adriana told me she was going to roast hers for our recent playdate/sleepover, I got really excited. Adri is a fantastic cook who likes simple but stylish meat and veg and I always learn a lot from her. Like me she is a single mom working full time, so like me, she has had to streamline the production of good meals. That is not a bad thing; it keeps you very focused on the quality of the ingredients, because you don’t have the time nor energy to make up for cruddy produce or take fancy steps.

And since the kids keep each other busy while we are mucking about in the kitchen and having a glass of wine, it is always a fun time.

So, here are Adriana’s oven-roasted Brussels sprouts. They were so easy, so fab, great with steak…you know I’ll be doing these a lot for the next couple of months!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Adriana

2 pints Brussels sprouts*, outer leaves removed and halved lengthwise

Liberal grindings of salt and pepper

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

8 sage leaves, cut into narrow ribbons

Leaves from one long sprig of rosemary

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place Brussels sprouts in a single layer in an oven dish (with sides). Sprinkle liberally with the salt and pepper (preferably from a grinder). Toss thoroughly with olive oil and herbs and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until you have nice crispiness on the edges of the sprouts. Serve, finishing with sea salt if desired.

*When buying Brussels sprouts, look for tight bulbs that are bright green and bottom stems that are smooth and clean. In this recipe, any leaves that fall off during cooking tend to get nice and crispy, like chips!



7 Responses to “Adriana’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Autumnal Awesome)”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 25, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    I love BS! As in Brussels sprouts. These look awesome to me.

    • nataliadecuba October 26, 2011 at 3:20 am #

      These were really terrific; it is so fun to cook with friends who share your aesthetic! I learn so much that I can actually use!

  2. T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types October 25, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Roasting Brussels sprouts was a revelation for me – I couldn’t believe that a vegetable I once despised could taste so savory and delicious. The crisper and crunchier the better!

    • nataliadecuba October 26, 2011 at 3:20 am #

      I adore them…you are so right…it’s amazing what a difference the cooking technique can make!

  3. A Tablespoon of Liz October 25, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Yum! Roasted brussels sprouts are one of my favorite things ever!

    • nataliadecuba October 26, 2011 at 3:19 am #

      I love them too! Thanks for visiting Liz! Will be by you soon!


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    […] been experimenting with Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving dinner. Should we go with an old favorite? Or try something new and potentially disastrous? (which brings to mind some awful lip-puckering […]

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