The child in me hated brussels sprouts. Or at least, thought she did since, let’s be honest, I don’t think I ever tried them, but most kids seemed to be staunchly opposed to eating them. Thankfully my tastes have matured. Brussels sprouts are (officially) a welcome feature of my plate.
For such a small and unassuming vegetable, these took a long time for me to master. They either weren’t crispy enough to bring out that unbeatable roasted caramelized taste, or I ended up burning them to the point that no one could even suffer through eating them out of sheer politeness.
*Insert years of chopping and tossing these babies in olive oil and a variety of spices here.*
Many trials (and tribulations?) later, I’ve finally figured out the way to enhance the sweet flavor of brussels sprouts, so that even the people who think they’re gross find themselves taking seconds. One cruciferous vegetable conquered, only several leafy greens to go!
When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, there are countless ways advocated all over the internet, from intensely tracking food intake to only drinking juice. I can’t claim never to have fallen for these traps, but that’s precisely what I learned from the experience. These are not true methods, they are TRAPS that only serve to make you crazed and fall further and harder than you ever thought you could.
So while brussels sprouts are among the top 20 most nutritionally dense foods, with high levels of protein, fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid (it helps form and maintain DNA), I hope that you incorporate these into your diet for the simple and unadulterated pleasure of eating them.
Especially when you get fancy and drizzle them with a balsamic reduction. Be still my beating heart!
- For brussels sprouts:
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- For balsamic reduction:
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil and spices, until evenly coated.
- Lay out in one layer on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until browned at the edges.*
- While brussels sprouts are still in the oven, heat balsamic in a saucepan over medium-high heat until begins to simmer.**
- Lower flame to simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes. The balsamic will begin to reduce and thicken. When it is sticky enough to coat the back of a spoon, it's ready.
- Drizzle over brussels sprouts and serve immediately.***
**Make sure to put the stove fan on, or open a window, as the smell of vinegar is extremely strong.
***If preparing in advance, then gently reheat the reduction with a tiny bit of water added, before serving.
Your turn: When did you first start liking brussels sprouts? Why?