This post was originally published in November of 2011. I have updated it with new pictures and a saveable, printable recipe format.
My husband and I are always asking each other what song we have stuck in our head. It’s really our self indulgent way of getting the other person to ask what song is stuck in our own head. Because its usually ridiculous. Sometimes it’s just a line from The Office or something, running over and over in my head.
My daughter loves reading books. Before I wised up and taught her to go grab a new book whenever we would finish one, we would read the same book about 5 times. Its no doubt that I would occasionally get lines from her books stuck in my head as though they were a song. One of her favorites is Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
“You do not like them, so you say.
Try them, try them, and you may.
Try them and you may, I say!”
That’s what I was thinking about when I bought a bag of brussels sprouts at the grocery store. I don’t actually like brussels sprouts. Nobody does. I didn’t even know what to do with them. But I was bent on purchasing a vegetable to round out our meal of fish and rice. When I got home I scoured my cookbooks and came across this recipe.
And wouldn’t you know… they were delicious! Like, seriously. I almost didn’t have any to eat with my fish and rice because I snacked on so many straight from the pan. They’re salty and slightly sweet from the vinegar, and boy is it a great way to eat your vegetables.
You start by trimming and halving a pound of brussels sprouts. That means cutting the stem bit off and then (duh) cutting them in half. Also peel five or so cloves of garlic. A head of garlic is the white (or purplish) mound you purchase at the grocery store, a clove is one chunk broken off of the head. I placed the flat side of a chef’s knife against them and gave them a soft whack with the palm of my hand. It cracked them just enough to pull the skin away from the clove.
The recipe says to place them neatly in the pan cut side down. Let’s be real. I threw them into the pan from a safe distance. My oil was hot and there was some serious spitting going on. If you washed your brussels sprouts, this will be greatly intensified. Let’s all just be careful around hot oil, ok? Once they were chucked in I settled them down with a spoon and tossed in the garlic and seasoning.
Leave them be for a few minutes, then shake the pan and put it in the oven. Remember to then turn off the burner, or it will be on for a long time, getting very hot, and you will burn your fish when you place the baking sheet on the stove top after cooking it. This may or may not have happened to me. There may or may not have been aluminum foil on fire. No biggie.
Roast those brussels sprouts until they’re good and dark. The crispier the better. When you pull them out add the vinegar and you’ll get a very satisfying sizzle and clear your sinuses at the same time. Seriously, don’t inhale. But do try this recipe, because it’s crazy good!
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
5 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Put the oil in a large oven safe skillet and heat on medium-high. When the oil shimmers but before it smokes, arrange the sprouts in one layer, cut side down. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, undisturbed, until the sprouts begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Move the pan to the oven and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts are very brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
Drizzle with the vinegar and adjust seasoning as necessary. Stir and serve.
Note: I recommend removing the garlic cloves before serving. They're left whole and they cook down to a delicious, mellow garlic flavor, but for my family it was too much. You can leave them in or set them aside and spread them on crusty french bread for a tasty side also.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything