Brussels sprouts. Yes, they are spelled with an ‘s’ on the end, as in the capital of Belgium. I didn’t realize that until I started cooking them as an adult. Usually people love or hate these little baby cabbages. We LOVE them. In fact, I have always liked them, even as a kid. My mom would cook some for dinner every now and then, and my dad and I were the only ones that would really eat any. My sister would hide hers in the bottom of her milk to escape eating the few that she was given. The ones my mom cooked weren’t even fresh and I still ate them. Crazy, if you ask me.
I make them all the time in a variety of ways, but they are almost always roasted one way or another in the oven. Roasting them makes them soften and caramelize a little to give them a slight bit of sweet. Through the years, I have fed many a friend at my house. Feeding people makes me happy. Silence at my dinner table fills me up, knowing that everyone is just enjoying the meal. All too often I have heard, “I can’t believe I am eating Brussels sprouts….and I like them!” People can always trust me, especially when it comes to food. I will never lie about food. I take food very seriously.
This particular night, I didn’t have my usual ingredients handy for my favorite and most popular Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans (with a few modifications), so I got creative. Balsamic vinegar adds such depth to foods, so I figured it should be a good choice for the sprouts.
First off is to wash the sprouts. Obvious, I know, but I mention this because I do a little more than just rinse them off. I let them soak for a few minutes in a bowl of water. Those layers of leaves can store a little more dirt than you would think. Then I take a few out at a time to the cutting board, cut the bottoms off, and halve them. The outer layer of leaves often fall off and that’s just fine. I usually want those to fall off because if they don’t, I remove them anyway. If leaves aside from those outer ones fall off, I just scoop those up and place them in the bowl with the halved sprouts. They crisp up something delicious in the oven.
Toss them in the bowl with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh pepper. Spread them out on a jelly roll pan (the technical name for this type of baking sheet) and place them cut side down.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes. They should look like this when they are almost finished:
Add a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar over them and stir with a spatula to spread it around. Watch out, though! The vinegar gets really strong on a hot pan and can burn your nose.
These are even good leftover…I like to eat my leftover sprouts right from the fridge.
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Just one of several ways you can roast these baby cabbages up in the oven. The balsamic vinegar adds a complex sweetness to the sprouts.
- 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Cut the bottoms off of the sprouts and halve them. Discard outer leaf layers if discolored.
- Combine in bowl with EVOO, salt and pepper.
- Spread out on a jelly roll pan or baking sheet, cut side down.
- Roast in 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes until somewhat browned.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over them and stir. Place back in oven for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!