Not all vegetables were created equally…cue in brussel sprouts. No one seems to give them a chance, but I think they deserve their “15 minutes of fame”! Hopefully you’ll agree once you see this recipe for Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts – it might just become your vegetable side dish for Thanksgiving… Canadian or American!
Before you say anything, let me begin by saying, “I know. I’ve had those same thoughts.” Let’s face it – we’re talking about brussel sprouts here, not chocolate cake.
Brussel sprouts always seem to make it to the top of the list for most disliked vegetables!
They were definitely my most disliked vegetable as a kid, anyway (next to broccoli rabe). I’m quite certain that I never even agreed to eat them – if I did, the memory has been erased. The smell alone was enough for me. As I have previously mentioned, my mom was a terrific cook and an even better baker. By no stretch of the imagination was I a picky eater as a child… but I drew the line at brussel sprouts. They just had this smell that I could not tolerate. Looking back, I have to guess that they probably smelled so bad because my mom boiled them to mushy death. But anyway, it was enough, and I never re-considered this vegetable until just a few years ago. And boy, did I recognize the errors of my youth.
Do me a favor and keep reading, just a couple more paragraphs, while I sing the praises of this very under-appreciated vegetable. They’re not nearly as bad as you think! So, let’s examine some of the facts that come to mind when we consider brussel sprouts.
Fact#1: Brussel sprouts are part of the Brassica family of vegetables, which includes cabbage, broccoli, kale and collard greens. Don’t they ressemble tiny heads of cabbages?
Fact#2: Nutritionally speaking, brussel sprouts are powerhouses! They will provide you with high levels of Vitamins C and K, dietary fiber, and a variety of flavonoids anti-oxidants – lutein and sulforaphane, to name but two – which can help protect from certain cancers.
Fact#3: There are only 10 calories per sprout! That’s really low!
Fact#4: Overcooking brussel sprouts can sometimes produce that unpleasant sulfurous odor and flavor. We have to avoid this at all costs. The goal is to get them roasted, in order for them to become caramelized. At this point, they will have a nutty flavor.
I could go on, but I think the best test is really to try them out. The markets are bursting with fresh produce right now. If you can, purchase brussel sprouts on a stalk. This ensures a fresher product; look for tiny leaves which are a nice dark green. Avoid stem ends which look dry and are discolored; this is never a good sign when buying fresh produce!
Remove the brussel sprouts by cutting them off the stalk. If you purchased brussel sprouts without the stalk, trim the ends. Next: trim the outer leaves. These are always a little tough. You can freeze them and then just toss them in your next vegetable stirfry.
Okay, so you’ve trimmed your sprouts. At this point, I usually give the sprouts a little rinse. Your brussel sprouts are now ready to be roasted. Cut the larger ones in half and just toss them around with some olive oil, garlic and rosemary.
These oven roasted garlic brussel sprouts will become caramelized, and they will take on a mild nutty flavor. I like to sprinkle in a few pine nuts during the last 5 minutes of roasting. Sesame seeds or almond slivers are another option. You can also drizzle some balsamic vinegar. When it comes to cooking, you are only limited by your imagination. Experiment and have fun with this!
ORIGIN OF THE RECIPE FOR Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts :
Following the passing of my mom, my brother and his lovely wife have taken over organizing Thanksgiving dinner. They always put together a really appetizing meal for all of us! A few years ago, my sister-in-law made a brussel sprout side dish, and I was shocked… I could not believe how good they tasted. I’m so grateful to her for showing me how wonderfully nutty these brussel sprouts can taste once they are roasted.
One of my favourite recipes is from Martha Stewart. The recipe can be found here. I took the liberty of adding pine nuts, some grated cheese and eliminating the boiling step.
So, that’s my speil for Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts! Have I converted any of you? 🙂 Would love to hear from you!
Oven Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts
Once these oven roasted garlic brussel sprouts become caramelized, they will take on a mild nutty flavor. Are you willing to try?
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh brussel sprouts
- 6 cloves of garlic minced or slivered
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Trim the ends and remove any discolored outer leafs.
- Rinse and pat dry.
- Cut sprouts in half and place in a large mixing bowl.
- Toss with garlic, oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.
- Arrange cut side down on a large sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes.
- Turn over and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Add pine nuts during last 5 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove for oven, grate cheese over top and serve immediately.
You want to roast your sprouts until they are crispy and caramelized on the outside and fork tender on the inside.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used.
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Ciao for now!
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