The Trick to Making Brussels Sprouts Taste Like a Restaurant's

Crispy, roasted results couldn't be easier.

<p>Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples</p>

Dotdash Meredith / Janet Maples

Brussels sprouts are divisive. People who love them, really love them. And people who hate them? I firmly believe they just haven't had them prepared the right way yet. I, myself, dreaded them growing up, when they were served to me as pale green globes in a steaming baking dish with mushy texture and bland, bitter flavor. When the lid came off that dish at the dinner table, the groans would start.

If you know where I am going with this, you can already see the folly of our past ways. Whole pieces meant they had to cook for way too long. Baking them in a crowded, covered dish meant they were essentially just steamed. And these things together meant that the flavor never had a chance to develop.

It wasn't until much later, when I was living in New York and seeing Brussels sprouts on restaurant menus everywhere, that I saw the infinite potential of this once-maligned vegetable. And I took notes to be able to make them at home. Just as we've explored restaurant methods for perfectly crunchy sautéed green beans, flavorful, fresh asparagus, and expertly seared mushrooms, we're following suit to get the most out of these tiny cabbages as well.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

How to Make the Best Brussels Sprouts

Let me start by saying that many restaurants deep fry Brussels sprouts, and that’s certainly a delicious (albeit sometimes greasy) option, but in my opinion, you can get equally tasty results from the oven. And it’s a whole lot easier, too. This recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan lays out the method I typically follow. Here are the important details to pay attention to:

  • Start with trimmed and halved sprouts. It's okay to have some loose leaves in the mix—they get extra crispy.

  • Toss the prepped veg with olive oil or a neutral oil until evenly coated. Season generously with salt and pepper. You can also use other seasonings—like garlic powder as listed in the recipe—though I often keep it simple. (Pro tip: Swap oil for duck fat like Chef John for off-the-charts flavor.)

  • Spread the Brussels sprouts out and with space between them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. This allows the heat to reach every surface of the vegetables and makes sure nothing sticks.

  • Crank up the oven. Here, creator Juliana Hale calls for 400 degrees F, though I go a little hotter to 425 degrees F.

  • Flip or shake every so often, but not so often that the sprouts don't have a chance to brown and caramelize.

  • Go past golden brown but stay shy of burnt! The Brussels sprouts can handle it and the flavor deepens the more they roast.

  • Finish with flavor. Squeeze lemon over top once they come out of the oven and sprinkle on a quality Parmesan cheese. You'll never go back to boring Brussels ever again.

"With those same ideas in mind, we also have a recipe for Air Fryer Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Mustard Mayo that sounds like a must-try and would give that same crispy, fried goodness with the ease of an air fryer."

Other Ways to Flavor Brussels Sprouts

You can't beat lemon, Parmesan, and perhaps a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, but there are many other complementary enhancements to try. Before cooking, use seasoning blends in your chosen flavor profile to amp up the taste. After the sprouts are roasted and caramelized, drizzle honey (or hot honey), soy or balsamic glaze, or go sweet and savory with sweet chili or maple syrup. Sub in other cheeses while you're at it, like Gruyère, feta, or blue, depending on your mood.

A dipping sauce can really take these crispy, earthy veggies up a notch, too. Try the maple mustard dip mentioned above, go with a bright and acidic garlic aioli or romesco, or take a smoky spin with harissa aioli—just to name a few.

<p>Trusted Brands</p>

Trusted Brands

What to Serve With Brussels Sprouts

These are good enough to enjoy on their own of course, and restaurants nowadays have Brussels sprouts featured as an appetizer. But more often than not, they're a side to main dishes. I absolutely love them with roasted chicken, pork chops, steak, or holiday ham, but really the possibilities are as endless as the sprouts' layers themselves.

However you serve them, I think we can now agree that Brussels sprouts really shine when they have a crisp, caramelized crunch—elevated with balancing flavors like tart citrus and nutty cheese. The best part is, they're just as easy to make at home as they are to order out.

Read the original article on All Recipes.