In fall, the minute the temperatures begin to drop I begin to think about Brussels sprouts. Now I know a lot of people have an aversion to the little cabbage-like vegetables, but I’m a big fan.
I do have some criteria though, including never eating one until there’s been at least one hard frost to ensure they’ve been exposed to the cold that converts the starch to sugar. And, also roasting is paramount to caramelize those sugars.
Around here, we eat them after they’ve been roasted at a high temp, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
At Cook in St. Helena, they are roasted, sautéed in butter and topped with parmesan. To say they are delicious is to say cream has a little fat—a big understatement.
So, last weekend I set out to recreate Cook’s version at home. I didn’t use as much butter, but they were pretty darn good.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts a la Cook
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Put the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl, add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir to coat the B sprouts evenly. Pour into a baking dish large enough to hold the B sprouts in an almost single layer but not so big that they are spread out. The more condensed space will help steam the B sprouts without browning them. Bake until tender 20-30 minutes depending on the size. (I like to use smaller B sprouts, about the size of ping pong ball.)
Turn on the broiler.
Melt the butter in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. When it begins to bubble and turn brown around the edges, add the B sprouts and cook, stirring to coat evenly until the B sprouts begin to brown slightly, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the cheese, put under the broiler to melt, about 1 minutes and serve.