Brussels sprouts. With lima beans, arguably the most notorious object of fear and hatred of children in the food world. I can not say that I hated as a kid – I’ve tried them, even until I’m an adult. And that first time, my boyfriend at the time was a chef, so I like them. But I never tried to make myself until I went paleo all because I thought they were difficult to make, or at least it was difficult to make the right taste.
I was sooooo wrong. If you are not already in the Brussels sprouts train, jump on board, my friend. They are so simple to make – and it is so simple to make good taste – I do not know why everyone does not eat them all the time.
I suspect that the traditional hate Brussels sprouts may be the result of the boil to death and a lack of seasoning. I can see how it could result in something less delectable. But is it true about almost all vegetables? I do not want too mushy boiled broccoli served plain. Ick. But keep green and a little crunch and add a little lemon and salt and olive oil? Yes please!
So all I’m saying here is – do not blame Brussels sprouts for some cooks unimaginative. Instead, let’s get these wee little cabbage-head looking soft things inside and crispy on the outside and deal with a pinch of wonderful flavors, and then * see * what we think!
This recipe does exactly that. The quick (emphasis on “fast”) boiling water gets the tender for the kernel. But cooking is where the flavor gets really developed. Of course, we add a little flavor – garlic and cayenne pepper – which takes things to a new level, but the actual cooking process creates flavor as well. When food is exposed to heat and browns, he called caramelization. Basically, this means that the sugars in the food that you heat are breaking down. The result is, as the caramel-brown color, and the creation of a rich, nutty flavor.
And this is exactly what happens to your sprouts as they cook. The exterior leaves brown and crisp up, some of them pulling away from head slightly, and all germs gets that warm wonderful, nutty flavor.
Apart from these wonderful Brussels sprouts taste and how easy they are to do, they are good for you. For a vegetable, they have a surprisingly high amount of protein: about 2 grams in a half cup. They are also packed with iron and potassium and fibers. So when your mom told you to eat your Brussels sprouts, she was right – they are super good for you!
And now you can take the super delicious as well. Pair them with chicken, pork, beef or for a great dinner. Or you can do what I do – make a large batch, have for dinner, and the rest for a snack the next day! They are still fresh, right out of the refrigerator. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pounds Brussels sprouts
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- salt to taste
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil, add the Brussels sprouts and cook for two minutes. Drain well and place the sprouts in a large bowl.
- Add chopped garlic, cayenne pepper and olive oil and gently toss to coat. Transfer the sprouts in a baking pan and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring the pan from time to time, until the sprouts are quite golden and crisp outside and tender inside.
- Adjust taste with more salt if necessary, sprinkle with lemon juice, mix well and serve.