Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Prosciutto
A total stranger did not hesitate to express to me his hatred for Brussels sprouts as I hand-selected the beautiful, miniature-cabbage-looking vegetables at the grocery store. My husband exchanged knowing looks with this gentleman, who pitied my man. I tried to sell the health benefits and proper cooking techniques, much as I have tried with my hubby, to no avail.
I am a confident woman. I know when I’m right. Brussels sprouts are awesome. Maybe I can convince you.
Here goes …
YEAH, YEAH, YEAH: THEY’RE HEALTHY
The green superstars of the superfoods, the ones that get all the headlines, are kale, spinach, and avocados. Rarely do you hear about the cabbage family. Broccoli and cauliflower get more attention than the the simple head of cabbage or it’s mini-me, Brussels sprouts. What a shame. Fiber-rich, cholesterol-lowering, cancer-fighting, antioxidant-loaded, inflammation-reducing, low-calorie, fat-free: the cabbage family should not be neglected. Read more about it in this article from the Farmers’ Almanac:
FOUR STEPS TO SUCCESS
I am working my way through Samin Nosrat’s book, “Salt Fat Acid Heat“. This is a cookbook but it is meant to be a book that teaches you how to cook and gives you recipes to enhance what you’ve learned. As you can guess, the keys to successful cooking are contained in the title. Here’s how it works for this recipe.
- SALT: adding salt in increments before and after the roasting process ensures the sprouts will be seasoned inside and out.
- FAT: it’s the caramelization of the edges of roasted vegetables that gets everyone’s attention. Extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and bacon drippings are all excellent choices for roasting.
- ACID: a splash of citrus or vinegar near the end of roasting provides a flavor balance for the salt and fat. In this recipe, the lemons are roasted with the sprouts which intensifies the juice which is slowly released onto the pan and into the sprouts. A light drizzle of balsamic vinegar before serving would be a good substitution for the lemon juice.
- HEAT: avoid the mush. Most people have memories of over-cooked, mushy, and stinky Brussels sprouts or cabbage. Roasting requires a high heat (minimum of 400℉) to get those crispy, browned edges AND a tender interior.
COME ON … TRY IT!!
Just like the gentleman at the grocery store, I am encouraging you to forget your pre-existing notions about Brussels sprouts. Don’t let one bad experience from your childhood keep you from something you may actually enjoy! Even if you’re not crazy about this recipe, look for others with your favorite flavor profiles (like this one for Honey Chipotle Roasted Brussels Sprouts).
If you are crazy about this recipe, then trust me enough to add beets to your healthy eating profile. Give this salad a try!