Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

I didn't discover the deliciousness of Brussels sprouts until last year, when I received them in my CSA box. My dad has less that fond memories of Brussels sprouts from his childhood, growing up the era of boiling vegetables into mush, and my mom is not a fan so they never subjected me to them during my childhood (and were probably just happy that broccoli was one of my favorite foods). Add the fact that Brussels sprouts have a notoriously bad reputation, I was a bit hesitant to try them when they first found their way into my CSA box, but I am extremely adverturous eater and will try nearly anything at least once. The first recipe I tried, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter Sauce from Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh and Green, made me realize that I absolutely adore these delicious little cruciferous vegetables. That recipe was so delicious that I served it at Thanksgiving dinner and made my dad realize that Brussels sprouts could be delicious (and my mom realize they could be tolerable). After an impulse purchase of a large bag of Brussels sprouts at the farmer's market a few weeks ago, I created this super-simple recipe when I wanted to perk up my sprouts just a bit from a simple roasting in olive oil, salt, and pepper (although that is delicious as well). Just the addition of a bit of salt, savory Parmesan cheese after roasting makes this dish feel special and decadent, provided you're using good, freshly grated Parmesan cheese (like SarVecchio or Hook's). Let these recipes inspire you to forget all your pre-conceived notions and discover (or rediscover) Brussels sprouts; you may just discover a new favorite side dish.

Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
serves 2 to 4

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread Brussels sprouts in an even layer on a prepared baking sheet.

2. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until the brussels sprouts are tender and browned in spots; rotating the pans and stirring the brussels sprouts halfway through roasting. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, toss with the Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

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