Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

We got hooked on Roasted Brussels Sprouts in California. 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, choose those still attached to the stalk, if possible. In any case, look for small, tight green heads smaller than 1 1/2 inches in diameter… they tend to be the sweetest. The very best ones have tight, bright green leaves, and feel heavy for their size.

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 0hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)

Spread evenly on a little toaster oven pan. Toast at 300°F just until fragrant (4-5 minutes), monitoring closely to avoid burning. Set aside to cool.

Position an oven rack just below center; preheat to 450°F “Convection” (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile start preparing the sprouts.

Toasting amplifies flavor and lightens texture. Ovens often run hot or cold, or preheat slowly. A very hot oven makes sprouts light.
16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved

Set aside.

Tip: Pop heads off the stalk; peel off loose or yellowed leaves. Trim stems and cut in half from top to bottom.

Cutting in half exposes the core to promote even cooking.
4 cloves (1 ounce) garlic, quartered

Set aside.

Tip: After separating a garlic clove from the head; cut off the root end. Place the broad side of a chef’s knife over top; strike with your fist or palm. Release skin and discard. Quarter.

Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon roughly ground black pepper
In a 3-quart bowl, whisk all together; add sprouts and garlic. With your fingers, toss and rub until evenly coated; spread into a single layer on a quarter sheet pan, cut sides up. Roast until browned (15-18 minutes). A touch of honey offsets sprout bitterness. Regular (inexpensive) olive oil is used here because the subtle flavors of extra-virgin are lost upon heating.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Drizzle over sprouts and toss. Top with toasted pine nuts and serve hot or at room temperature. Finishing with extra-virgin adds a fresh nutty flavor.

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.

After the garlic, distribute 2 ounces finely diced pancetta over top.

Before serving, distribute 1 ounce shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano over top.