We got hooked on roasted brussels sprouts in California. Throw in a little pancetta or chopped bacon before roasting, and transform it into a light main. Or, add tang with dried cranberries or sweetness with some diced apple. The versatility is fantastic.
When shopping for Brussels sprouts, select those still attached to the stalk, if at all possible. In any case, look for tight, vibrant green heads smaller than 1 ½ inches in diameter as they tend to be the sweetest. The very best feel heavy for their size.
|WHAT YOU NEED||WHAT TO DO||WHY|
||Center an oven rack; preheat to 500°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). In a 3-quart bowl, whisk all together.||Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated. A very hot oven makes sprouts light. Below 400°F produces tough, stinky sprouts. Avocado oil has a high smoke point (520°F). If you do not have it, substitute with olive oil. Honey and vinegar offset sprout bitterness.|
||Add sprouts and garlic to the dressing. Toss and gently massage to evenly coat. Spread into a single layer with shoulder room across an unlined quarter sheet pan.||Cutting in half exposes the core, promoting even cooking. Large pieces of garlic are less likely to burn during roasting than small pieces. Shoulder room promotes the Maillard (my YARD) reaction (browning), which adds rich flavor. An unlined pan yields superior crisping.|
||Roast until browned (13-14 minutes). Briefly remove sprouts from oven to sprinkle pine nuts on top. Return to oven to toast (~1 minute); monitor closely.||Toasting amplifies nut flavor and lightens the texture, but they also easily burn.|
||Toss sprouts with olive oil. Serve hot or at room temperature.||Finishing with extra-virgin olive oil adds a fresh layer of 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.