I think I grew up detesting Brussels sprouts as all my childhood memories were of being served them boiled or steamed, and they lacked any taste, or flavor, and were generally soggy. But if you follow my Instagram account, you know that I often order them while dining out. They are delicious – how did I ever detest them? Perhaps because I never had on the stalk roasted Brussels sprouts.
I am excited to share my mouthwatering recipe that will turn even the most skeptical eaters into Brussels sprouts enthusiasts.
Green Gems from the Brassica Family
Originating from the Mediterranean region, these petite veggies are part of the Brassica family, which includes other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. Over the centuries, Brussels sprouts have made their way across the globe, giving chefs opportunities to create amazing dishes with them, and earning a spot on dinner plates worldwide.
Growing Your own
I tried to grow them at home – just one time., I am not likely to try again. Brussels sprouts are a unique addition to your vegetable garden. They start off as tiny, tightly packed buds, that eventually become the the sprouts. They thrive in cooler temperatures and take a long time to mature, making them a late-season delight, but also very prone to being eaten by bugs.
When to Buy Brussels Sprouts
The best time to buy Brussels sprouts is during the late fall and winter months when they’re at their peak. Look for sprouts that are firm, vibrant green, and tightly closed. Smaller sprouts tend to be more tender and sweet, while larger ones have a heartier flavor. Freshness is key, so choose sprouts that feel heavy for their size and show minimal signs of yellowing or wilting.
Start by inspecting the overall appearance. Get sprouts that have compact leaves and minimal blemishes. The size is important, so aim for uniformity to ensure even cooking. Pro tip: If you can, pluck a few leaves from the sprouts and give them a gentle squeeze. A good Brussels sprout should feel firm and dense, promising a satisfying crunch when roasted.
Roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk
They are really easy to roast at home – and so easy when done on the stalk. Besides making an incredible presentation display on the table once they are cooked, roasting an entire Brussels sprouts stalk is easy and quite fun for your guests to just pick off the ones they want. I stopped by our local supermarket and they had a great selection of stalks (but hurry, as we don’t see them in California all year round).
Having roasted Brussels sprouts on the stalk is as easy as this:
- Start by trimming the tough ends and removing any loose or damaged outer leaves. If you like, you can cut a small ‘X’ into the stem which allows for even cooking – I rarely do this. If you are roasting them on the stalk, no need to do this step.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- Toss the sprouts in a 1/4 cup of olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you are roasting them on the stalk, you can brush them with the olive oil.
- Spread the sprouts or place the stalks on a baking sheet
- Cook for approx. 45 minutes and turn 2/3 times during the cooking cycle
- Roast until they achieve they are golden-brown
Whether it is planned as a side dish or the main course, you can thick balsamic vinegar, and shaved cheese before serving.