Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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.

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 0hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  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.
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
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.
  • 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
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.
  • 4 cloves (1 ounce) garlic, quartered
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.
  • ¼ cup pine nuts (pignoli)
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.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
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.



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