© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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1½ pounds Brussels sprouts
8 cups cold water
½ cup kosher salt
3 tablespoons good olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Pecorino Romano, optional
Trim stems and remove any wilted outer leaves from Brussels sprouts and wash. Halve vertically any large brussel sprouts and set aside. In a very large mixing or deep container stir together the 8 cups cold water and kosher salt until salt is completely dissolved. Add Brussels sprouts to brine mixture making sure the sprouts are completely submerged — weigh down with a plate if necessary to keep sprouts submerged. Let stand for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Drain Brussels sprouts — do not rinse. Place drained sprouts in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper, toss until coated. Transfer to a shallow baking dish or sheet pan large enough to hold the sprouts in a single layer. Roast, turning every 10 to 15 minutes, for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp outside and tender inside — you'll note that leaves that are loose will be especially brown and crispy — this is ideal.
If desired, sprinkle with a little more salt and/or shaved romano cheese before serving.
I prefer my Brussels sprouts very tender and browned. Feel free to pull back on the roasting time if you like yours a bit more firm. I often add 3 small chopped shallots, which becomes soft and sweet during the roasting process. For even more yumminess, add ¼ pound of bacon or pancetta cut into small pieces, which coats the sprouts with its tasty fat. You can also sprinkle sprouts with your best about 1 tablespoon of quality balsamic vinegar during the last 10 to 15 minutes of roasting, then sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon more before serving. The truth is, though, all Brussels sprouts really need to shine, aside from a hot oven, are a little olive oil, salt and pepper.