because This recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and balsamic vinegar found its way into my life over a decade ago. I’m pretty sure I fist came across it in Mark Bittman’s excellent cookbook, How to Cook Everything. There is even a vegetarian version! This recipe, along with my amazing wife, is responsible for turning me into a serious devotee of the humble Brussels sprout.
My sprout awakening
I remember avoiding Brussels sprouts like the plague growing up, probably because my only exposure to a Brussels sprout was in the school lunch line, where they had been steamed or boiled for a fortnight before serving. They smelled terrible, and looked inedible. I don’t think I ever even tried them because of that. Fast forward to today, and I think I probably have sprouts in my fridge from mid-September through May. Chances are, tif I have Brussels sprouts, they will be made into this roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and balsamic vinegar because its so easy.
M daughters even love this recipe. That may be because we told them they were called “tiny cabbages,” but whatever the reason, they love them. A little rebranding goes a long way. There has never been a leftover sprout in our house, no matter how many we make.
This recipe is so easy to love. It is incredibly fast to throw together, more or less hands off, and absolutely delicious. All you need is a big, ovenproof skillet, I usually use cast iron, and a couple of simple ingredients. I would stay away from using a nonstick skillet. There has been some bad press about possible chemical off-gassing from the coatings at high temperatures, and I air on the side of caution here. I have used Calphalon aluminum skillets as well with great success.
It is really easy to forget to put an oven mitt on your hand after you have taken the skillet out of the oven and it is sitting on the stovetop. Do not forget to do that. We are conditioned that pot handles are safe to grab when they are on the stove because we do it all the time. Nothing will ruin your day faster than grabbing a 400 degree cast iron pot handle with your bare hand.
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Trim the bottom off of all of the sprouts and slice the sprouts in half. If there are any really. Small ones, you can leave those whole, you just want them all more or less the same size.
- Heat a large cast iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. When hot, put in the olive oil and tilt the pan so the bottom is coated. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and arrange them so they are cut side down. Sprinkle a few pinches of salt an a couple of good grinds of black pepper on top and walk away for 7 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, add the peeled, whole cloves of garlic to the pan and scrape the sprouts up to toss them around a bit. Put the pan in the oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, stir the sprouts, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Return the pan to the oven for about 7 more minutes, or until the sprouts are nicely browned, and crispy in some places.
- Take the pan out of the oven and immediately pour the balsamic vinegar around the pan. It should sizzle quite a bit. Stir everything around to coat and transfer the sprouts to a serving bowl. You’re done!
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