It’s spring. That means the grocery stores will begin to fill with a glorious abundance of seasonal fruits and vegetables. For some, April also means a family gathering filled with traditional Easter dishes and Easter bunny treats. Whether you celebrate Easter or just worship the leaves and flowers popping through in the spring, this is a great time to fill your plate with the color of the season bloom: Green.
For many who grew up before the 90s, Brussels sprouts conjure up all kinds of images of a soggy boil, often filled with acrid tastes and smells. But these are not your grandmother’s Brussels sprouts. All the rage at many eateries around the country, roasted Brussels sprouts are having an extended moment. What makes them transcend that soggy mess? It’s the process, the mix-ins, and the source.
Process: Roasting Brussels sprouts develops the flavors and caramelizes the natural sugars.
Mix-ins: At your local pub, you may find anything from cheese to bacon in there as well, and often drenched in a sticky sweet sauce with added sugar.
Source: In springtime, you can sometimes find fresh Brussels sprouts at the grocery store, still on the stalk. Go for buds that are small, tight, and bright green.
Here, we’re ditching the mix-ins, and developing the natural flavors with the simplicity of olive oil, salt, and acid. This allows you to reap all the benefits of eating a cruciferous vegetable, without any of the junk. Does this recipe remove all of the classic Brussels sprouts taste? No, and you wouldn’t want to. Glucosinolates – the compound that gives Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables their classic bite – are the same compounds that help your body to fight cancer at the cellular level.
As for the rest of your Easter or Spring spread, for good health, make sure that if you indulge in some of those traditional dishes (which aren’t always the healthiest), that you surround them with a wealth of brightly colored vegetables, Brussels sprouts and beyond.
Roasted Spring Brussels Sprouts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
• One stalk/container of Brussels sprouts (about 30 buds)
• 3 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tsp of salt (or, to taste)
• 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
Preheat oven to 425. Prune the Brussels sprouts from the stalk and cut each in half. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle the other ingredients over the top. Toss until coated evenly. Arrange the Brussels sprouts face down on a flat cookie sheet. Cook until the skin is dark brown and flaky on the outside, about 25-30 minutes.