Man, I swear I could have been a vegetarian. If no one had ever let me taste a ribeye steak or onion sausage or barbequed chicken and I didn't know what I’d be missing, I could totally live off of vegetables.
I love them. And I crave them. I think my body thwarts off illness and other bad juju by telling me what it needs by way of vegetable cravings. I’ll just wake up one day and be like Oh! Mah! Gah! I have GOT to have some ________ (Insert random vegetable – I love them all. Except English peas. Blech.)
I love to cook large batches at a time and then eat on them all week. If I've got the grill cranked up, I go ahead and grill an extra bunch of asparagus or zucchini while I’m at it. If my oven’s already hot, I go ahead and roast what I have on-hand. I roasted a half head of cabbage and huge chunk of cauliflower the other day because I had it in the crisper. And it would likely have gone bad if I hadn't.
When my fridge is full of already cooked veggies that I can just heat up at supper, we eat way more of them than the canned or frozen kind because roasted or grilled is just so much better!
Oven roasting vegetables totally transforms them. A lot of the moisture evaporates in the hot oven so the flavors really get concentrated. The outside gets browned and caramelized while the inside stays moist and tender.
Since no one else at my house likes brussels sprouts, I’m proud to tell you I single-handedly ate every single one of these gems from Sunday to Wednesday. And I’m itching to make some more!
If you always find brussels sprouts to be too bitter to enjoy, you might have a genetic predisposition for being a sprout hater. Seriously, read this. If you just sometimes find them to be bitter, here are a few tips for avoiding bitter brussels sprouts:
- Smaller is better. Smaller, heavier brussels spouts are less bitter.
- Cut them in half. Opening sprouts releases the acidic compound in them that can make them taste bitter.
- Trim away as much of the stem as possible and any outside leaves that aren't tightly closed.
- Like greens, brussels sprouts are best during the cold weather months.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1.5 lbs. fresh brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for serving
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
Wash and dry brussels sprouts* then add to a bowl. Cut any that are larger than an inch in diameter in half (keeping the small tender ones whole). Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and garlic then arrange in a single layer in a large baking pan (or two smaller ones – use whatever you have to ensure the brussels sprouts aren’t touching and have plenty of room). Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Watch them closely. You want a nice roasted char on the bottom but there’s a fine line between charred and burned.
To serve, spoon into a serving bowl then drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with additional coarse grain salt. These are also amazeballs served with freshly grated parmesan.
*TIP: Wash vegetables when you bring them home from the market so they are bone-dry when you’re ready to roast them. This ensures the oil and seasonings really coat the veggies.