Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts
When I was about 15, I discovered Brussels sprouts and immediately fell in love with them. They can get a bad rap because of their bitter flavor when they are boiled, but there's nothing better than roasted Brussels sprouts. Roasting them brings out their savory, nutty flavor and reduces the bitterness, adding a crispy outer layer. And even better, their leaves get super crispy and end up tasting like chips... mmmmmm.
It doesn't hurt that Brussels are high in Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin (which are all good for your vision and skin!) as well as Vitamins A and B6, calcium, and iron. Better yet, research has shown a possible correlation with Brussels sprouts consumption and a decrease in DNA damage - which can result in a decreased risk of cancer.
Here's the super easy and super tasty way I make Brussels.
Start with Brussels Sprouts, EVOO, ground fennel, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Most stores only sell Fennel Seeds, so either look for Ground Fennel or grind it yourself. I find that it's cheaper and easier to buy the seeds, and then grind at home in my Vitamix and dry grains container. Organic Brussels are ideal - but I can't always get my hands on organic ones, so any Brussels will do in a pinch!
Next, wash and chop the Brussels!
I like to cut off the ends and then slice them in half... the flat side of the Brussels will get nice and brown and the leaves will get oh-so-crispy.
Then - place them in a big bowl and drizzle EVOO all over them, and pour a hearty amount (about 1.5 tablespoons) of ground fennel, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of cayenne (if you like a little bit of a kick!).
Then - spread them out on the pan! Make sure to organize them flat-side down (otherwise they won't brown on the bottom) and make sure they're not too crowded. If you want some crispy leaf "chips" then place your stray Brussels leaves on the pan by themselves... you may find that you don't have enough pan for this, so consider grabbing a second pan so you can keep your Brussels from crowding and get lots of crispy leaves.
Throw them in the oven on 400-degrees, and bake!
I rarely time my food when I cook it... I prefer to just keep an eye on them and take them out when they have reached that perfect crispiness. BUT you'll find them getting nice and crispy around the ___ minute mark.
Pull 'em out, and taste them! Yaaaaassss.
Here's the full recipe:
1 lb of fresh Brussels sprouts (organic if possible)
1/4 cup of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 teaspoon of ground fennel (not fennel seeds)
3/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the end of each Brussels sprout off and then slice the sprout in half from the top down.
Place Brussels in a large bowl, and pour EVOO over them.
Sprinkle all remaining spices onto the Brussels Sprouts, and stir them or shake the bowl a bit to evenly coat each sprout with spices and oil.
Toss the Brussels sprouts into your baking pan.
Then - turn each sprout so that the flat side is facing down onto the pan (this will make the bottoms nice and brown, and the tops crispy!).
Roast for ~20-30 minutes, or until the sprouts are slightly browned and crispy on top.