Brussels sprouts are one of the least popular vegetables. My husband, Adrian, says he never liked them when he was a kid because they were just boiled and served plain. When they are cooked that way the sulfur compounds are more noticeable, but if you roast them the sprouts caramelize and sweeten. Adrian loves them cooked this way. They are good hot from the oven or even cold the next day. This method will work for broccoli and cauliflower too. These vegetables are also in the brassica family (also called cruciferous vegetables) and they can benefit from the roasting in the same way.
This is how I cooked the Brussels sprouts that Adrian brought home from the grocery store this week. I bet his mother would have been shocked to hear he bought Brussels sprouts!
First I took the Brussels sprouts and washed them. I cut off the very tip of the stem end, removed any ugly leaves on the outside, then cut them in half. The looked like this when they were ready.
I got out a 9 by 9 inch dark steel square cake pan for this smaller batch of Brussels sprouts. I have used my large roasting pan for larger batches. I poured in a small amount of olive oil, probably around a Tablespoonful.
Next I threw in the sprouts. I tossed them around in the oil until all the sprouts were covered with oil fairly evenly. Then I added a dash of salt and pepper, stirred them around a bit again, and they were ready to go into the oven.
I placed them in a very hot oven, about 425 degrees. I let them cook for about 10-15 minutes, then removed the foil. I popped them back into the oven to brown a bit. They looked like this before browning.
After about 5 minutes in the hot oven, I shook the pan a bit to mix the Brussels sprouts around so that they would brown more evenly. I continued to cook them until they were lightly brown. It was about 5 more minutes. At this point the rest of dinner was not finished so I just turned off the heat and let them sit in the oven until everything else was ready, so they did cook a bit more. When I took them out of the oven they looked like this.
The two of us ate all these sprouts plus a pile of chard with our dinner.
I thought I had come up with a great idea to cover the pan with foil . Then today when I was at the grocery store I picked up a copy of “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine for this month and saw that they had published almost the exact same recipe as the best way to make roasted Brussels sprouts, though they used more olive oil, 3 Tablespoons I think. I guess the foil was a good idea but I am not sure why you would need 3 Tablespoons of oil.
Nutrition Tip: The sulfur containing compounds in cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, include isothiocyanates and indoles. These phytonutrients are being extensively studied due to their anti-cancer effects.