Brussels sprouts have an unfortunate reputation as one of the most dreaded vegetables, and yet they’re actually quite tasty…or at least they should be. The key is in the preparation. If you serve 1970s-style over-cooked, limp, flavorless Brussels sprouts, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that your family members will turn up their noses. But if you serve savory, roasted, caramelized Brussels sprouts that just sing with flavor, you won’t have trouble getting takers.
During this season you’ll probably see lots of Brussels sprouts in the market. If you’re extra-lucky, you might be able to buy them on the stalk (and pulling them off the stalk is a great job for kids). If you’re buying them loose, look for fresh green leaves and a bright, healthy color. For best results, use them as soon as you can (if you keep them too long in the fridge trying to decide what to do with them, they’ll turn bitter) (speaking from experience).
We’re lucky to have a wonderful purveyor of fresh Brussels sprouts nearby, as well as a local restaurant that’s willing to share its recipe for best-ever Brussels sprouts. If you’re in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, by all means stop by GROW South Bay for your produce needs; and visit Tin Roof Bistro if you want to taste their original amazing Brussels sprouts. But if you’re not nearby, you’re still in luck: Tin Roof Bistro was generous enough to give out their recipe, which is up on the GROW web site. These Brussels sprouts are roasted and then coated with a wonderful savory garlic-lemon sauce. It’s served over rustic bread, which allows you to sop up every last savory bite. Note: When we made our version, we swapped out the capers and anchovies and replaced them with black olive tapenade.
Restaurant-Style Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 3 T. extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 3 T. butter
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. black olive tapenade
- 1 T. lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices rustic bread toasted and lightly brushed with olive oil (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the Brussels sprouts by trimming the root and outer leaves; then slicing them in half lengthwise. Toss them in a bowl with 2 T. of the olive oil. Spread them out on a baking pan and roast them for 25 minutes.
When the roasting is complete, melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add the olive oil and minced garlic. Heat over medium heat, tossing frequently, until the garlic is a light golden color. Add Brussels sprouts, olive tapenade, lemon juice, and salt and pepper and toss thoroughly. Continue heating over low heat for 3 to 4 additional minutes.
To serve, place a slice of bread on each of four plates. Divide the Brussels sprouts and the liquid over each piece of bread. Serve immediately. Serves 4.