Brussels Sprouts and I have a history – mainly one of contempt on my part. It began back in Milwaukee, Wis. when I lived with my roommate Miranda. One of her favorite meals to eat was Brussels Sprouts microwaved for so long they became dehydrated and shrunken. Honestly they were so small by the time she took them out they were practically the size of peas. I never had a problem with Miranda eating Brussels Sprouts. It was the smell I couldn’t stand. We had a huge apartment and the smell wafted from the kitchen all the way down to the living room and both bedrooms.
Last year when I lived in a much smaller apartment in Long Beach, Calif., I had my second encounter with the smell of Brussels Sprouts. When my dad visited, one of his favorite meals was a medley of vegetables, including the abhorred Brussels Sprouts. Again. The smell. It would permeate my entire tiny apartment. Because of the offensive nature of the smell, I never had any interest in tasting the vegetable.
Until a few nights ago when Sis brought home a bag of Brussels Sprouts. Somehow she convinced me that they taste great. I was skeptical, but I try to be open-minded when it comes to trying new foods. Besides, I had prepared myself for the disturbing and persistent smell when she declared she was starting a diet of soup and Brussels Sprouts as soon as she pulled them out of the grocery bag. It was then I knew the Brussels Sprouts would be around for a while. Sis has a habit of eating the same food over and over and over and over again.
The way Sis cooks Brussels Sprouts is to roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. When she pulled them out of the oven that night, they didn’t look especially tasty. And obviously the smell was not in the roasted Brussels Sprouts’ favor. I cautiously took my first bite and was pleasantly surprised to find I actually liked them. Not just liked. Loved. We ate her roasted Brussels Sprouts for dinner four nights in a row and on the fifth night when we didn’t have them, we lamented the fact that we weren’t eating them.
With Sis’s method for roasting Brussels Sprouts, I’m officially converted into a Brussels Sprouts lover. I almost don’t even notice the smell anymore!
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 2 T. vegetable oil (or other mild-tasting oil)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the stems off the Brussels sprouts and then peel off the loose top layers. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half and then cut the halves in quarters.
- Place in a plastic Ziploc bag and drizzle with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and marinade in the refrigerator overnight.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes until crisp. Toss a few times while baking. Sprinkle with more salt, if desired.
I like to eat my Brussels crisps in a bowl (like popcorn) drizzled with brown butter (like popcorn).