I grew up with Brussels Sprouts prejudice. My dad didn't like 'em. He'd only ever known the sprightly sprout under poor conditions — namely, my grandmother's vicious habit of boiling veggies into submission.
They were bitter and mushy at the same time. Wretched pale lumps. I didn't blame him for loathing them, and with his opinionated introduction, I never even considered experimenting with sprouts.
Later on, (much later, to my great dismay these days) I discovered the Brussels Sprout the way it was meant to be: roasted.
Oh, sweet revelation, thy name is roasted vegetables, and my relationship with these cutie little cabbages hasn't been the same since.
If, like my dad, you find that you and Brussels Sprouts somehow got off on the wrong foot, I urge you to give peace a chance.
This technique is simplicity defined, and may your life be well changed when you try it. If you hate pecans, just skip 'em. I like them quite a bit, but they're not necessary, just tasty.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans (Serves 4)
2 pints fresh Brussels Sprouts
3/4 cup whole or halved pecans
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
4 to 5 grinds of black pepper, or to taste
1. Heat the oven to 350°F, cut the Brussels Sprouts into 1/4" slices and pile them into a mixing bowl as you work.
2. Add the pecans, olive oil, salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Toss to mix well.
3. Spread the sprouts and nut mixture across a sheet tray and place in the oven to roast.
4. After 15 minutes, stir the sprouts on the tray to help them cook more evenly, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes. At this point they should be beginning to show some browning at the edges. (If not, continue roasting for a few more minutes.) Remove from the oven and serve hot.
These days I've grown to love the flavor of Brussels Sprouts au naturel and I often just steam them, but roasting brings out such sweetness and richness, I feel a dish like this is bound to win over the hearts (and tastebuds) of haters.