Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions
By Madeleine Dee

Brussels sprouts. 
Hey, come back here! 
Yes, YOU. 
Sit back down. 
Now, hear me out. 

Brussels sprouts are great! 

However, I didn't always think so. Where I'm from, they're one of those things that people are raised to think are awful without ever actually giving them a chance. Much like the very misunderstood beet. For most of my life, I "hated" them, but I've learned a couple helpful tricks in the past few years that have changed my perspective completely. I hope you'll be saying the same thing very soon! :)

The top reason why Brussels sprouts are so widely loathed is that they are bitter. 
Here's my solution:

Boil, shock, and then roast them.

"THREE things?!", you say? "I have to do three whole things?!?"

Yes. Calm down. It's really quite a simple process. 
Here's what to do:

Step 1 - Boil your sprouts for 2-3 minutes in salted water. They will soften, turn a pretty green/yellow, and soak up some of the salt for extra flavor. Most importantly, the boiling process will remove a lot of the bitterness.

Step 2 - "Shock" your sprouts by removing them with a slotted spoon and plunking them directly into a large bowl of ice water. This will preserve that pretty green color. If you don't care (I frankly don't unless I'm trying to impress somebody), 
skip this part.

Step 3 - Toss your sprouts with a little olive oil, salt, and black pepper, 
then roast until soft and tender. 

(I know it's strange, but I actually like to "roast" them at 350*F, which technically isn't roasting at all - this lower temperature takes longer, but gives the sprouts enough time to soften throughout and caramelize beautifully.)

The end result will be tender, sweet, and lovely with little to no bitterness.

For an extra nice touch, saute a sliced yellow onion while the sprouts roast with a little butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper until soft and beginning to caramelize. Mix in a tablespoon or 2 of your favorite BBQ sauce (preferably something smoky), then allow the onions to caramelize and soak up all the flavor. Serve on top of your roasted Brussels sprouts and garnish with fresh parsley!

Give Brussels sprouts a chance. 
They're healthy AND they're a refreshing new side dish to shake up your typical dinner.

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Executive Chef and Owner of No Place Like Home in Louisville, KY. Writer, actress, chef, professional cook and professional eater.