Cook on a Whim: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Roasted Brussels sprouts. Photo by Anita Parris Soule. Courtesy Cook on a Whim.

Thanksgiving is approaching at an alarming rate, so I thought I’d share one of my fall favorites that would make a perfect side dish for the big day.

Brussels get a bad rap thanks to being boiled beyond recognition and forced onto our plates when we were little. I’m not going to force you to eat them, but if you think you don’t like them and you’ve never had them roasted this way, please just give them one more try.

Roasting any veggie brings out its flavor, caramelizes the natural sugars and just creates such a complex, nutty, irresistible bite. I go for a deep, dark brown on the cut side. How? I start these on the stove top, much like you’d cook a steak. I heat a cast iron skillet until very hot, add oil and a pat of butter, swirl the fats around and then carefully place my sprouts in the pan, cut-side down. If I have any really little ones I just leave them whole.

After they get nice and brown, I toss them around, add some fresh thyme and stick in a hot oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. A bonus: They are great at room temp, so they won’t be vying for precious oven space on the big day.

But be warned: If you leave these sitting on the counter, they might not make it to dinner. Maybe we should call this one an appetizer and not a side dish?

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half

4 slices prosciutto

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

A few sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary

A good, thick, aged balsamic for serving (optional)

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 450. Place 4 slices of prosciutto in a flat, even layer on a baking sheet so that they do not overlap. Place in oven and roast for no more than 5 minutes. You really need to watch them because they can burn quickly. Once crisp, remove from oven and allow to cool while you prepare the sprouts.

Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add oil and butter and swirl or stir to coat pan evenly. Place Brussels in pan, cut-side down in a single layer.

Allow to cook without stirring for 3 to 5 minutes until deeply brown, but not black. Just keep an eye on them and peek underneath a few as they are cooking. Once they are nice and brown on the cut sides, stir, add more oil if they look dry and place in oven for 5 to 10 minutes until tender, but still crisp and green.

Crumble prosciutto over, drizzle with thick balsamic if desired and serve!

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