Four words you don’t often see together: mouth-watering Brussels sprouts.
I can see it now, you’re raising an eyebrow and giving me the stink eye because your “b.s.” detector is going off. In fact, you probably didn’t even click on this post!?
*sings* I’m all by myself.
Or, maybe you share my excitement for this misunderstood vegetable. There are many of you out there! I know this based on my Instagram comments recently. In fact, one of you said the photo made your “mouth water” which served as inspiration for this recipe title!
I loathed these green, leafy orbs most of my life until that one glorious day when I roasted the heck out of them with some good oil and sea salt. I forgot to set the timer and consequently “over-cooked” them a bit, but as I stood there over the pan popping them into my mouth, one by one, I realized I hit the jackpot. Browned, almost caramelized bottoms, crispy, blackened leaves, and a tender yet “meaty” texture. Yes, I just said meaty texture. For a veggie, that is.
I also converted Eric into a Brussels sprouts fanatic with this method, and I’m sort of regretting it.
“I never thought I’d see the day when I’d eat an entire pan of Brussels sprouts.”
(That is a direct quote from Eric recently. What have I done?)
In this post I’ll divulge my go-to method for roasting these misunderstood sprouts, and I’ll share my favourite ways to flavour them. They really are the perfect canvas for creating all different kinds of flavours depending on your mood.
The elephant in the room: Brussels sprouts are a bit of a pain to prep (ok, I won’t sugar coat it, they are my nemesis!), however I timed it and 2 pounds takes me 10 minutes to trim so it could be worse?). You can’t go wrong coercing a helper to cut the prep time in half. Or why not just designate the entire task to your favourite relative? wink, wink. muhauha.
The Brussels prepared below are lovely as is, but I encourage you to try all kinds of different spices, glazes, dips, sauces, etc. Here are a few of my favourite flavours:
A drizzle of pomegranate molasses or balsamic reduction with pomegranate arils (very festive!) – you can skip the Harissa here.
Garlic infused – try minced garlic cloves, garlic-infused oil, garlic salt
Teriyaki sauce – pairs well with sesame seeds
Barbecue sauce (I’ve been known to use BBQ sauce as a dip!)
Coconut curry sauce or your favourite curry powder
Sriracha or other hot sauce
Hummus (we’re loving roasted red pepper hummus with these lately)
Ground toasted nuts or seeds like pecans or sesame seeds. I want to try hemp hearts too.
I really had fun with this photoshoot; I hope you enjoy! I thought it would be fun to start adding “glow tips” to some photos. Let me know what you think!
This is my current go-to method for preparing Brussels sprouts. I lightly coat them in melted coconut oil, season with sea salt and Harissa spice blend, and then roast until charred and crispy. Keep in mind that the amount of roasting time will vary depending on your oven and how fresh the Brussels sprouts are. It's best to keep an eye on the first batch. After roasting I love to drizzle the smallest amount of melted coconut oil on top and then toss them again - this just takes them over the top on the mouth-watering scale and it also rehydrates them after roasting. This recipe can be changed up so many ways too. For a festive twist, try drizzling Pomegranate molasses or Balsamic reduction on top (you can skip the Harissa for a more neutral flavour) and serve with fresh pomegranate arils. We also love dipping the sprouts in roasted red pepper hummus or a sweet Barbecue sauce.
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, outer leaves removed (6 cups prepped)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted or olive oil*, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon dry Harissa spice blend**
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- With a paring knife, trim off the ends of the sprouts, then slice in half lengthwise, and pick off any loose outer leaves. Place the prepped sprouts into a large bowl.
- Add the oil onto the sprouts in the bowl and stir or toss with hands until throughly coated. Add the Harissa and salt, and stir until combined.
- Spread the Brussels sprouts onto the prepared baking sheet in a uniform layer. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast the sprouts for 20 minutes, then flip with spatula, and continue roasting for another 5-15 minutes until browned to your liking. I tend to "overcook" these because I like them crispy and charred (I usually brown mine more than the photos show). Smaller sprouts will brown faster than larger ones.
- Drizzle with a teaspoon or so of melted coconut oil and quickly toss to coat. This infuses with flavour and moistens them a bit after roasting. Sometimes I also sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds if I have some on hand. Taste and add another tiny pinch of salt, if desired, and serve immediately - the hotter the better.
*If using melted coconut oil, make sure that your Brussels sprouts are at room temperature before mixing in the oil. If the sprouts are chilled from the fridge, the oil will harden when mixing. Keep in mind that using virgin coconut oil will impart a very light coconut flavour. You can use flavourless refined coconut oil if you prefer.
**I found the Harissa spice blend at Whole Foods in the US (it’s the Whole Foods Market brand). It contains: paprika, caraway, chilis pepper, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, peppermint, sea salt. I’ve also been told that it can be found at Bulk Barn and Sobey’s in some Canadian locations. You can also find it online here.