What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Good Food Hunting: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

December 27, 2013 By: janwest Category: What's Happenin'

By Kat Nielsen

Finished roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with pecans and brown butter.

Roasting these mini cabbages brings out awesome flavor, but pairing them with nutty brown butter and sweet pecans, they becomes a dreamy side dish for eating “lesser vegetables” and all taste.

Trimming the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts, preparing them for baking.

Trimming the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts, preparing them for baking.

Roasting almost any vegetable is a usually a surefire way to success. I’ve found many converts to beets and Brussels sprouts because of this method of cooking. You start this process by coating your vegetables in oil, and roast at a high temperature to bring out the natural sweetness. In the case of the Brussels sprout, the cabbage flavor mellows out which is usually why most people stay away from these guys.

With the addition of brown butter, you get a really lovely nutty flavor that coats everything. To understand brown butter, you start but realizing that butter is just water and milk solids. When you cook the butter, it’s usually over a saucepan and continually stirred. As the water evaporates, the milk solids start to brown and create a very aromatic sauce, with amazing taste. It’s that unique flavor you can add to baked goods, roasting and just about anything where you’d use butter to amp things up a bit.

Brown butter, this is an incorrect example with too many browned/burned bits at the bottom. Yours should be equally tanned and nutty in aroma.

Brown butter, this is an incorrect example with too many browned/burned bits at the bottom. Yours should be equally tanned and nutty in aroma.

Last but not least, are the addition of toasted nuts to the Brussels sprouts. I love pecans, and because they’re iconic of the holiday season I love adding them in this recipe. Of course you can substitute hickory nuts, or even hazelnuts for that extra crunch factor.

Enjoy your roasting and the taste of the season!

To full plates and eating your tarte out,

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

2 pounds of fresh Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of butter, unsalted
1 cup of pecan pieces (or hickory nuts)
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Trim the base of your Brussels sprouts and remove any bruised leaves. If your Brussels Sprouts are extra large, be sure to halve them down the middle. Place into a baking dish large enough to let your Brussels sprouts spread out onto one even layer.

Pour olive oil onto Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for fifteen minutes.

In the interim, heat your butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Continue stirring. Butter will foam, it is after this point that you’re looking for a light tan color and nutty aroma. Remove from heat once this is achieved.

Remove Brussels sprouts from oven, pour butter over top and sprinkle with pecans. Stir to coat. Bake for an additional ten to fifteen minutes or until largest Brussels sprouts can be easily pierced with a knife.

Remove Brussels sprouts from oven, serve immediately.

About the writer: Author Kat Nielsen is a horse enthusiast turned food blogger. She maintains a day job in the horse world handling marketing and brand support to various companies, while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences. Visit her blog at EatYourTarteOut.com or email her at tartechic@eatyourtarteout.com.