A lot of people in the city of Richmond, VA are obsessed with pizza. I am definitely one of those people and I have a batch of gluten-free pizza dough rising in the other room right now. However, there is another cult following in this town and it’s all brussels sprouts, baby! The most common obsession is the sprouts at Avalon on Main Street in the Fan District, and for good reason. They are delicious. This is the first place I had eaten them since I was a kid and I became instantly obsessed. There’s something about the way they crisp up when you roast them that I just can’t resist. It feels so homey and savory even though I don’t ever remember eating them at home as a kid. (My dad hates brussels sprouts, so I guess I got lucky?)
Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. They are known to be super for antioxidant support! Brussels sprouts are also a source of indole-3-carbinole, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. They are also high in fiber and may lower cholesterol and one cup of brussels sprouts boasts 161% of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake and 274% of your recommended Vitamin K. They are great for your body’s detox system, antioxidant system and anti-inflammatory system. Bonus Jonas, if I say so myself!
Raw Brussels Sprouts, in season in autumn and winter
To prepare Brussels sprouts, remove the hard stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. The wash thoroughly. Some people cook their sprouts whole. In fact, most people probably do, but I’m not one of them. Also a lot of people steam them, but I’m not one of them either. The only preparation method I do not recommend is boiling because, while easy, it reduces a lot of the health benefits you get from eating them. And let’s be honest, how many things are good just boiled? Meh. I like to cut my sprouts in halves or quarters and roast them.
Kristel’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmigiano-Reggiano
~20 Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size
2 T EVOO
1 T Aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano to garnish
Toss Brussels sprouts with EVOO, balsamic, salt and pepper. Spread out in a roasting dish and cover with foil. Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, continue to roast until crisp and browned, about 15-20 minutes. If the sprouts are already tender but not crisping on the outside, I may broil them instead so as not to overcook them.
Garnish by shaving some Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and adding any salt or pepper, if necessary. Enjoy!