Brussel sprouts. You either love them or not. But, I will bet you never had them made in a good way if you say you don’t like them. There was a time that you would see recipes that showed boiled or mushy sprouts. I don’t blame anyone for not eating them. I didn’t grow up having them at dinner. And my Mom is an amazing cook!
I started making them three years ago for Thanksgiving. I found a recipe that sounded good on “paper”. Once I made them, I realized how delicious they are! The funny part was, while they look like little cabbages, they don’t taste like that. When I sliced them in half for roasting, I thought it was important to keep them all together at the root end. But what I discovered is that they are far better when the loose leaves brown and get crunchy. Like healthy chips! My favorite part!
The recipe that I created is so easy and adaptable (my personal style of cooking). I like cooking and presenting dishes with different textures. This one is no different. Inventing a recipe for me doesn’t mean covering the main ingredients natural flavor but actually enhancing it. I think that it what I did with this recipe.
When you first buy the brussel sprouts, wash them and pull off stray leaves. Then cut the root stem off each one. When you slice them in half, don’t worry if some leaves fall off. Those are the good ones! Toss the brussel sprouts and leaves with olive oil, salt and pepper and put on baking sheet. Make sure not to over crowd them or they will steam and you don’t want that.
Roast them at 425 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until brown. Note that about 15 minutes in, I started checking them as the smaller ones brown faster. I also started pulling off the pan any of the loose leaves that have gotten dark and put them in a bowl for later. Don’t throw them out as they are filled with flavor and should be mixed in with your finished sprouts.
Once you pull them out of the oven, let them stay in the pan while you make the balsamic vinegar reduction. This is such an easy but important step as it adds the sweetness to the dish. On very low heat, pour a ¼ cup of balsamic into a pan. Stir it slowly so it won’t burn. You will notice after a few minutes that it will get thicker. The balsamic is now so sweet and concentrated.When you plate the brussel sprouts, make sure to add the crunchy leaves that fell off in the process. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the top of the vegetables.Then, to now add the salty, creamy texture, we have to include some crumbled rich Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Remember from my previous post on how to tell if it is the real thing, the rind of the cheese needs to have these little pin points identifying it as coming from Italy. And finally, a little crunch from the pine nuts. Each layer of this recipe creates the reason I am sharing this dish. It is that good!
This is a festive dish to make for Thanksgiving or any time you are looking for a healthy and flavorful vegetable dish. I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for stopping by!
- 1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup good Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano - crumbled into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Wash brussel sprouts. Cut root end. Slice sprout in half through root end.
- Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper over sprouts.
- Scatter in baking pan. Don't overcrowd.
- Bake 25 - 35 minutes gently tossing about 15 minutes in to cooking time.
- Note: any loose leaves will burn easily but are so delicious when they get crispy. About 15 minutes in to baking time, remove any loose leaves and put in bowl to be added to finished dish.
- Once all sprouts are golden brown and a little crispy, remove pan from oven. Leave sprouts in pan while you make the balsamic reduction.
- For balsamic reduction, on low heat, add vinegar to sauce pan stirring often. Vinegar will reduce and become more concentrated in a 3-5 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat.
- Plate brussel sprouts, add loose crispy leaves, drizzle balsamic over top, add Parmigiano Reggiano and top with pine nuts.