Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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10-27-13 roasted brussels sprouts

The number one question I get asked when people find out I’m a vegetarian is, “What do you eat?” Honestly, to me it seems pretty simple: I eat what everyone else eats, just without the meat. In recipes, I find a way to substitute a protein in for whatever meat is being used or just omit the meat part of it. It’s really not that difficult, but it is definitely something I’ve had to train myself to do and I’ve had to learn what things work well and what things don’t work as substitutes at all. It’s a little trial-and-error, but really I think all cooking is trial-and-error. You can’t know what you like to make until you start making stuff!

One of my absolutely favorite dishes is roasted vegetables. Seriously, it is the quintessential thing that makes me think of autumn and one of my favorite things about this season. Not only does it yield delicious food, it also helps heat the house! There are all kinds of good roast-able vegetables out there this time of year, and I’m determined to roast them all. And, yes, this includes vegetables that I’ve never really eaten before in my life (another perk about being vegetarian: I quickly grew exhausted of my go-to-veggie meals and really had to branch out and try a bunch of new foods. It’s great!). Point and case: brussels sprouts.

10-27-13 holding sprouts

At the farmer’s market this weekend, we came across this massive stalk of brussels sprouts. I have to be honest, folks. I have never seen brussels sprouts grow. I couldn’t even begin to tell you how they grow. It turns out they grow in these massive, badass-looking stalks that weigh a LOT. Seriously, I think I could club someone with this thing if they broke into my house. It’s impressive.

10-27-13 long sprouts

Having never even cooked with brussels sprouts before, I was totally in awe of this almost-3-foot stalk and just had to buy it. So we did. And then I had to figure out what to do with it…and then I remembered that you can literally roast ANYTHING that comes out of the ground.

While I won’t post many recipes on this blog, this one is worth sharing because it is just so easy. Unfortunately I can’t give you very exact measurements because I am a very freeform cooker (but I am an exact baker). Lucky for you, roasting vegetables is very hard to mess up.

10-27-13 poppin

10-27-14 pre-wash 10-27-13 washing

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS 

You’ll need:
– some brussels sprouts (I think I probably had about 50)
– olive oil
– salt
– balsamic vinegar (optional)
– any other vegetables you want to toss into the mix (I had some potatoes and garlic cloves wanting to get in on the action)

1. Pop off the sprouts (if they’re growing in a massive stalk like mine). Rinse them off in the sink. Wash and chop up any other vegetables you might be adding into the mix.

2. When you’re done chopping, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees (F). (Washing and chopping will take a while, so no need to waste energy running your oven while getting everything prepped).

3. Spread all your veggies out on a baking tray (one with a rim is best). Pour a little olive oil over them (and some balsamic vinegar if you’d like). Using a spatula, flip the veggies over in the oil until they are all coated and happy. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, nothing too crazy. They are ready to roast!

10-27-13 ready to roast

4. When your oven has preheated, roast the veggies in the oven for 40-45 minutes. Halfway through roasting, pull them out, flip them over, and remind yourself how happy you will be in another 20 minutes.

5. Remove the tray from the oven when the veggies look the proper crispness to you. For me, I like them a little crispy but not my-marshmallow-caught-on-fire-in-the-campfire-for-twenty-seconds-but-I-ate-it-anyway crispy. With practice, you will know the perfect amount!

10-27-13 crispy

6. Eat those bad boys right off the tray. Seriously, I couldn’t stop poppin’ those sprouts into my mouth. I’ve got a new veggie to be obsessed with! I would also suggest these with a little sprinkle of parmesan cheese…DEE-LISH.

10-27-13 sprouts smile

Well, that’s it for now. I’ve got some brussels sprouts to get into my belly. What kinds of vegetables do you like roasting? Do you have a favorite way to eat brussels sprouts? Please share if you do…I have some more experimenting to do!

– m.s.

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