My mother claims that when I was a baby, my favorite food was brussel sprouts. I’m not sure what she was basing her information on, maybe it was the one creamed food I didn’t spit out repeatedly, I don’t know. But she still claims that to this day.
Then she’ll go on to tell you that they tried not to feed me sugar or sweets when I was young (I was the first child, can you tell?) until my aunt accidentally gave me ice cream when I was 2 or 3. So I am convinced that had I been given ice cream much earlier, my mother would not still be claiming that I loved brussel sprouts.
Then something happened and I refused to eat anything that wasn’t white. I’m not sure how my phobia of non-white foods arose, all I know is I wouldn’t eat pasta if it had sauce on it, I hated jelly and peanut butter was only barely tolerable. I used to slug back peas with milk like I was taking pills (even though I couldn’t swallow pills like that without gagging) and no amount of pushing vegetables around the plate was going to make them disappear.
In college I realized I was being utterly ridiculous with my phobia of non-white food. I had started branching out a little bit in high school, with strawberries and other fruits and salads with about a pound of dressing on them. Well, lettuce with a pound of dressing anyway. I ate my first tomato (that didn’t come in sauce form) at the age of 20, and reintroduced myself to brussel sprouts at 23.
I beginning to think that my mother and her brussel sprouts theory may actually have been legit. I adore brussel sprouts. They are heavenly when roasted with just a little pat of butter. There is a restaurant in the West Village called BoBo that makes the most fabulous brussel sprouts in the fall. I could live on them. And that’s how I began eating brussel sprouts again, at least twice a week for dinner.
I always make my sprouts the same way every time. Literally, every.time. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s simple, it’s quick, and I can do other things while they’re roasting. And yes, I will often just eat a giant bowl of sprouts for dinner. Sometimes I’ll put couscous in there for a little “variety.”
- 10 oz of brussel sprouts (this is how they’re sold in my grocery store, in little containers) – about 2 ½ cups
- 2 tsp butter
- kosher salt
- cooking spray
- Pre-heat oven to 350°F
- Cut the bottoms off the sprouts, peel off the rough dark green leaves on the outsides and cut in half.
- Arrange the sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet (I line mine with a silpat, but that’s not necessary). Spray thoroughly with cooking oil to coat, you don’t want them drying out too much.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, I like mine super peppery.
- Cut the butter into small pats and arrange over the top of the sprouts so that when it melts they’ll all be covered.
- Place in the oven on the middle rack for about 20-30 minutes, depending on desired doneness, I like mine a bit crispy. About halfway through cooking pull out the pan and shuffle them around a bit to make sure they all get enough butter on them.