Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

So!   I have to admit here that I have not purchased Brussels sprouts from the Farmers’ Market yet, although I love them.  (I also wonder if they really came from Brussels, or if there’s another reason for the weird name.)  (Yes, I AM too lazy even to Wikipedia that noise.  Deal with it.  ;))  Why, you ask, have I not bought them at the Market? 

YOU GUYS.  They grow on STALKS.  Really.  And they’re a pain to put in the fridge, which is where most of my stuff ends up for a couple of days before I get around to actually, you know, COOKING.  Then I have to cut all the teeny cabbage-y things off the stalk, and it’s just . . . oh, I just don’t wanna, ok?  GEEZ.  (I’ll get around to it eventually, though.  Maybe next year.)

But they are, in fact, AMAZING roasted, and Hot Nerd Girl asked me how the heck to do that, and!  It’s true!  It’s TOTALLY easy!!!  (“Easy” is my favorite descriptor of a recipe.)  (Most of the time.  Sometimes I need to putter around, ok?)  This is one of those recipes that DEFINITELY qualifies as measurement-free cooking (also one of my favorite things)!  So here you go!

Ingredients:
About a pound of Brussels sprouts.  Or a little more.  Or a little less.
Any combination of the following (but not all at once – just pick a row!):
olive oil, salt and pepper (to coat)
olive oil, minced garlic, lemon juice
sesame oil, garlic (optional) and red pepper flakes
melted butter and assorted mushrooms (no, not THAT kind of mushrooms!)
olive oil, brown mustard and finely chopped onion

The Recipe (if you can call it that):
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray (or rub some butter or oil on it.)   (If, like me, you HATEHATEHATE cleaning baking sheets, cover it in foil, and spray the foil.)  Toss the sprouts with your choice of ingredients (you can do that right on the baking sheet), and spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet. When the oven has heated, roast the sprouts for 30-40 minutes, or until they’re tender and brown.  I like them a little black on the VERY edges, but not everyone does, so there you go. 

How did it (or WILL it) go?
It will be AMAZING.  For real.  The key with this is not to use an ingredient that gets gross at high heat.  Lemon juice is out (although it can be good if you squeeze it over the cooked sprouts), as is any dairy product.  It’s also good to remember that Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family, so if you wouldn’t eat it with cabbage (or broccoli, also a member of that family), don’t eat it with sprouts.  But overall, you’ll find that roasted Brussels sprouts take on a nutty, sweet-but-not-sugary flavor.  They have a really nice depth to them, and they go well with just about any kind of meat (though red meat seems to bring them out best).  They’re really good plain too, though, and if they’ve been roasted, I even like them at room temperature later on.  I will say that I have yet to find a tasty way to eat cooked sprouts cold, though.  I like them cold and raw, but cold and cooked . . . um.  Not so much, ok?  Word to the wise, there.  😉

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