In the Kitchen

We Found the Key to Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Ahh, fall—the leaves are changing, sweater weather is here, and autumn produce is back on the menu. One of our favorite chilly-weather food items is a particular sprout, by name of the Brussels sprout, maybe you’ve heard of it? With endless preparations and flavor combos, this hearty vegetable makes for a perfect side for any number of dishes.

In fact, it’s one of our go-to restaurant orders when dining out. Restaurant-style Brussels always seem to be perfectly crispy—yet somehow, when they’re made at home, we can’t achieve seem the same crunch.

We consulted Chef Giuseppe, and he had some very clear opinions on said crispy sprouts. The key to perfect crisping, he says, lies in three different areas: temperature, oil, and size. “Often times, people don’t cook their Brussels sprouts at a high enough temperature,” he advises. “425°F is the sweet spot.” Another issue? Not enough oil. “You want them to be well-coated with olive oil,” he says. In other words, now is not the time for a light drizzle.

The final factor is the size of the Brussels. Halving them results in greater surface area for oil and seasonings, resulting in extra flavor—though you can also leave them whole, as long as you’re up for cooking them a little longer. And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can deep fry them for extra-crispy results.

For Brussels inspiration, we’ve got five recipes below for your autumnal culinary adventures. Whether shredded or roasted, in a slaw or caramelized, there’s a sprout for any occasion, be it a Sunday supper, holiday side, or even—dare we say?—breakfast.

Bacon

In our humble opinion, this cooking method is an underrated way to eat Brussels for breakfast. With a crispy fried egg on top, it’s almost like a breakfast salad.

Ingredients
1 pound whole Brussels sprouts
6 slices thick-cut bacon

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise through roots. Roughly chop bacon into .25-inch pieces. Line a baking sheet with foil and set aside.

Add Brussels sprouts to prepared baking sheet and toss with 3 tablespoons olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange cut-side down in a single layer, spacing apart as much as possible.

Transfer baking sheet with Brussels sprouts to oven and roast until browned and tender, 20-25 minutes. Then, remove from oven, add bacon pieces, and continue roasting until both Brussels sprouts and bacon are crispy, 10-15 minutes more. Set aside to cool slightly, then enjoy!

Blue cheese

We firmly believe that everything’s better with cheese, and these Brussels are no exception. Here, we’re using blue cheese for salty richness, plus toasted walnuts for a little crunch.

Ingredients
1 pound whole Brussels sprouts
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
.25 cup walnuts
2 ounces high-quality blue cheese

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Rinse Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise through roots. Mince garlic. In a large bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, .5 cup olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to combine, then set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Add Brussels sprouts to prepared baking sheet and toss with .25 cup olive oil, .5 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Arrange cut-side down in a single layer, spacing apart as much as possible.

Transfer baking sheet with Brussels sprouts to oven and roast until browned and tender, 20-25 minutes. Then, remove from oven and sprinkle over walnuts. Roast until walnuts are slightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly, 5-10 minutes. Once Brussels sprouts have cooled, transfer to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Add blue cheese crumbles and stir gently to combine. Dig in!

Yuzu aioli

Yuzu is a citrus fruit whose juice is often used as a seasoning (like lemon). Here, it’s a perfect addition to a tart homemade aioli for coating a simple Brussels sprout slaw.

Ingredients
1.5 pounds shredded Brussels sprouts
2 pasteurized eggs
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons yuzu
.5 teaspoon yuzu koshu
1 cup grapeseed oil

Instructions
Mince garlic. Separate 2 eggs, placing yolks in a large bowl. Discard whites or save for your morning omelet. Add yuzu, yuzu koshu, garlic, and .5 teaspoon salt to bowl with yolks and whisk to thoroughly combine. Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in grapeseed oil, 1 tablespoon at a time (add the oil slowly and whisk vigorously—this is essential for helping your aioli combine!).

Place Brussels sprouts on cutting board and, using your hands, massage until beginning to soften, 1 minute. Add Brussels sprouts to bowl with yuzu aioli and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy!

Maple

You may have ordered these in a restaurant before and marveled at the sweet-and-salty glaze. It’s actually surprisingly simple to make!

Ingredients
1 red onion
10 ounces shredded Brussels sprouts
.5 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice. Heat 1.5 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softening, about 6 minutes.

Add Brussels sprouts and crushed red pepper (skip or use half for less heat) to pan with onion. Increase heat to medium high and sauté until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon maple syrup and cook until Brussels sprouts are coated, about 1 minute more. Remove pan from heat. Season with .5 teaspoon salt and black pepper as desired.

On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange maple Brussels sprouts in a single layer. Transfer to oven and roast until crisp and light golden, 20-25 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, 5-10 minutes. Dig in!

Caesar

This simple slaw provides a seasonal twist on the classic Caesar salad. It’s perfect on its own for a light lunch, or as an accompaniment to a comforting pasta bake.

Ingredients
1 lemon
2 cloves garlic
.25 teaspoon anchovy paste
2 ounces mayonnaise
2 ounces grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound shredded Brussels sprouts

Instructions
Halve lemon. Mince garlic and, still on cutting board, sprinkle over .125 teaspoon salt. Using a large knife, carefully scrape over mixture at a 45° angle, pressing down. Repeat until garlic is broken down and a paste forms.

In a large bowl, whisk together anchovy paste, mayonnaise, Parmesan, garlic paste, and juice of 1 lemon until smooth. Place Brussels sprouts on cutting board and, using your hands, massage until beginning to soften, 1 minute. Add Brussels sprouts to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired, then set aside to marinate until ready to serve (we recommend at least 10 minutes, but feel free to let them marinate longer for extra tender results!). Enjoy!

Plated offers 20 seasonal recipes each week, so this fall, scoop up all the Brussels sprouts recipes we've got!

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