OK, so for years, I hated Brussels sprouts.
They were like nasty little cabbages. I had only seen them steamed, or worse, boiled.
Roasting them made a believer out of me.
I swear, it turns them into an entirely different vegetable: One that’s not only edible, but that’s downright delicious.
For this recipe, I doused the little green guys in a quick Asian marinade that I spiked with maple syrup.
As they roast, the Brussels sprouts develop a deep nutty flavor. The finished sprouts are lacquered with sweet and salty glaze and dotted with bits of tart, smoky Aleppo chili pepper.
If you hate Brussels sprouts, try them this way. At least once.
If you need extra convincing, cut down the soy sauce a little and add some slivers of bacon. (Salt is one of the keys to taming the wild Brussels sprout…if salt is a concern for you, mess around with the proportions to find the balance that works best.)
This makes a great hot side dish in the autumn and winter. It’s also amazing as a chilled salad type of thing in the hot weather.
Try it. Serve it to people who hate Brussels sprouts and watch their disbelief. Let me know what you think!
1. Prep the Brussels sprouts
Grab your Brussels sprouts. Give them a rinse + pat them dry.
Whack them in half with a sharp knife. (If the stem ends are really woody looking, nip them off and discard.)
Set them aside for a minute while you make the glaze.
2. Make the glaze
Trim the roots and last half inch of dark green ends off your scallions and discard. Cut into rounds.
Whisk the light soy and maple syrup together until uniform.
Toss in the Aleppo chili flakes. (These little babies have a hint of smoke to them. Find them here online at Penzey’s. If you don’t have ’em, try cutting the amount in half and use regular chili flakes with a scant 1/8 teaspoon of ground chipotle.)
Add the scallions and give the whole mess a swirl to combine. Set aside for a minute.
3. Blanch the Brussels sprouts
You don’t have to do this, but it considerably speeds up roasting time. I think it also draws out a little bitterness. Pop your chopped Brussels sprouts in a large pan filled with about a half inch of water.
Simmer over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, then drain well.
4. Roast the Brussels sprouts
Put your blanched Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Pour in the glaze. Toss well to combine.
Spread the Brussels sprouts out on your parchment-lined baking sheet. Arrange them cut-side up.
Drizzle with remaining glaze from the bowl. (It will sink in between all the little leaves because they’re cut side up.)
Roast at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until fork tender and deliciously brown.
Give one a taste to check the salt level, and serve garnished with a few flakes of coarse sea salt, if you like.