“Tanner, eat your Brussels sprouts!” is what my husband recalls when he thinks back to his childhood memories of eating vegetables at a dinner table. What a funny thing, childhood memories. The sad truth is that many adults had a traumatic experience with Brussels sprouts while growing up and have written them off as adults. If that’s you, I dare you to try these Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts. They are to die for. You’ll be fighting for the last one on the plate, I promise.
Brussels sprouts have probably the worst reputation of any vegetable. In fact, when I was buying Brussels sprouts for this recipe, I accidentally dumped the whole bag of sprouts on the floor, right in front of the cashier as he was about to ring them in. As I started chasing those little cabbages rolling around everywhere, he said, “just go get some new ones, nobody likes Brussels sprouts anyway”.
I get it. Brussels sprouts can taste (and smell!) pretty terrible if not prepared properly. The solution? Prepare them properly!
The trick to making Brussels sprouts taste incredible is to roast them instead of boiling/steaming them. Traditionally, Brussels sprouts have always been boiled, which is a recipe for disaster. It takes away all their flavor and doesn’t give them a great texture. Roasting, on the other hand, caramelizes the Brussels sprouts and brings out their rich sweetness. Roasting also creates a crisp exterior with a creamy delicious inside.
Just be sure to keep an eye on them while they’re roasting. Not overcooking these little cabbages is so important because they contain natural compounds called glucosinolates, which are actually really good for you. However, they also release a lot of sulfur the longer they are cooked. That’s why overcooked Brussels sprouts taste and smell terrible. To reduce the sulfur taste and smell as much as possible, keep every Brussels sprout under an inch and a half in diameter. Yes, that means you might need to cut them in half. The bigger the Brussels sprouts are, the longer it will take them to cook, and by the time the center is be done, the outside will be overcooked. For the same reason, keep all your Brussels sprouts approximately the same size. The Maple Roasted Brussels sprouts should remain bright green with a slightly caramelized brownish surface.
While roasted Brussels sprouts taste amazing on their own, I like to dress them up a bit. Brussels sprouts are a very savory vegetable so I usually pair them with some sweet vegetable, such as carrots or sweet potatoes. The maple syrup adds more sweetens and helps to caramelize the Brussels sprouts even further. And finally, the roasted hazelnuts bring a wonderful nutty flavor and crunch.
These Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts are a sure way to convert even lifelong Brussels sprouts haters.