I've never eaten Brussels Sprouts before. They were on of the few vegetable exceptions my mother made, along with eggplant (a bad experience in her youth, no doubt). We ate asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, onions, zuchinni, butternut squash, and all the normal stuff like carrots and tomatoes and broccoli. But never brussels sprouts.
Of course, it's sort of cultural to hate the little things. They look like, I dunno, fairy lettuces or something. The Borrowers probably ate them, but that doesn't mean they're human food. In all the kid books and movies, the longsuffering child is forced to eat the dreaded sprouts. So I was bound to hate them.
But Mark Bittman has me convinced otherwise. He posted a recipe for roasted sprouts and garlic. Magic words, those: "roasted, with garlic." I had to give it a shot. And it was fantastic! Paired with a poached egg, they made a marvelous dinner, and a fabulously easy one at that. Once the pan goes in the oven, just wash the rest of the dishes and put a pot of water on to boil for your egg.
I give you the fabulous recipe:
Yield 4 servings
Time About 45 minutes
[Bittman writes:] I cannot remember when I intentionally began to almost-burn Brussels sprouts by roasting them until they were really, really dark. But cooked this way, the crisp outside leaves and tender, almost artichoke-like interior cannot be beat.
1 pint brussels sprouts (about a pound)
4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to coat bottom of pan
5 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Trim bottom of brussels sprouts, and slice each in half top to bottom. Heat oil in cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; put sprouts cut side down in one layer in pan. Put in garlic, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Cook, undisturbed, until sprouts begin to brown on bottom, and transfer to oven. Cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 1/2 hour.
3. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and serve hot or warm.