Brussels sprouts are coated in olive oil and seasonings, then baked in a hot oven until crisp and caramelized. Beware – these baked brussels sprouts are addictive!
My late grandma was Dutch. Like most Dutch grandmas, her baking was amazing – she baked with lots of butter. However, like most Dutch grandmas, her method of cooking vegetables was to boil them, sprinkle with salt, and serve. Like other northern cuisines, traditional Dutch cuisine is very skimpy on seasonings – salt and pepper is usually all you get.
Boiled and salted vegetables can be delicious, of course, especially when not overcooked. Grandma’s brussels sprouts were wonderful – she used fresh, young sprouts, boiled them until just tender and salted liberally. I loved them as a kid.
A few years ago, at a dinner party, I tried maple roasted brussels sprouts. It was my first time trying oven roasted brussels sprouts, and I was amazed at how delicious they turn out when roasted.
Needless to say, maple roasted brussels sprouts became a staple in our household.
But something was nagging at me. As much as I loved the maple brussels sprouts, I did not love adding maple syrup to them. As a matter of principle, I try not to use sweet ingredients in savory dishes, or at least limit them as much as I can. The less added sugar we consume (even natural forms of sugar), the better off we are.
So tonight I tried baking the brussels sprouts in the oven without adding any maple syrup. It was wonderful! The secret is to use plenty of olive oil, mix everything so that the sprouts are well coated, then bake until the brussels sprouts are very crispy and caramelized.
It’s interesting to see that even without an added sweetener, the baked brussels sprouts contain enough natural sugar that with plenty of oil and baking in a hot oven, they become beautifully caramelized.
I still like simply boiled brussels sprouts, and I do love maple roasted sprouts (who wouldn’t?). But these baked brussels sprouts are now my favorite way to prepare this vegetable, combining taste AND health in one dish.
- 1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Rinse the brussels sprouts and dry well. Remove the outer leaves as needed, cut off the stems and cut each sprout in half. (Psst... I'm lazy and buy them already prepped at Whole Foods).
- Transfer the brussels sprouts to a 9 X 13-inch Pyrex baking dish. Toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Make sure the brussels sprouts are well coated.
- Spread the brussels sprouts evenly on the baking dish. Bake until caramelized, browned and crisp, 30-35 minutes.