We got hooked on Roasted Brussels Sprouts in California. If you throw in a little pancetta or chopped bacon before roasting, it suddenly becomes a light main.
When shopping for Brussels sprouts, select those still attached to the stalk, if at all possible. In any case, look for tight, bright green heads smaller than 1 ½ inches in diameter… they tend to be the sweetest. The very best feel heavy for their size.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
|Place oven rack just below center; start preheating to 500°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer).||Ovens often run hot or cold or preheat slowly. A very hot oven makes sprouts light. Below 400°F produces tough, stinky sprouts.|
||For the dressing, in a 3-quart bowl, whisk all together.||Avocado oil has a neutral flavor and sports a high smoke point (500°F). If you do not have it, substitute with olive oil. Honey and vinegar offset sprout bitterness.|
||Add to dressing.
Tip: Pop heads off stalk; discard loose or yellowed leaves. Trim the stems; cut in half from top to bottom.
|Cutting in half exposes the core, promoting even cooking.|
||Add to dressing. Toss and gently massage with your hands to evenly coat the sprouts and garlic.
Tip: After separating a garlic clove from the head, cut off the root end. Place the broad side of a chef’s knife on top; strike with your fist or palm. Release skin and discard. Quarter.
|Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting than small pieces.|
|Spread sprouts and garlic into a single layer across an unlined quarter sheet pan. Roast until browned (13-14 minutes).||Giving sprouts plenty of space promotes roasting versus steaming. Lining a pan reduces desirable browning.|
||Briefly remove sprouts from oven to scatter pine nuts on top. Return to oven to toast (1-2 minutes); monitor closely.||Toasting amplifies nut flavor and lightens the texture, but they also easily burn.|
||Toss sprouts with olive oils. Serve hot or at room temperature.||Finishing with extra-virgin adds a fresh nutty flavor.|
Additional Testing Notes: 400°F requires a longer roasting time, yielding tougher sprouts that lost their appealing bright green color. Lining the sheet pan with parchment paper reduced desirable browning.
ROASTED BRUSSELS WITH PANCETTA
After the garlic, distribute 2 ounces finely diced pancetta over top.
PARMESAN ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Before serving, distribute 1 ounce shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano over top.