Okay, so maybe ‘sexy’ is a tad dramatic to describe a veggie that’s second cousins with a cabbage; but it’s not completely inaccurate either. These are not your grandmother’s boring old steamed Brussels sprouts (no offense, Grandma). These are fancy Brussels sprouts. They’re a little dressed up. They will leave you wanting more and they’ll have you thinking about them for days afterward. Plus, they’ve been known to turn non-Brussels sprout fans into Brussels sprout lovers. If that’s not the mark of a sexy veggie, I don’t know what is.
We eat this side dish a couple times a week and without fail, there’s never leftovers. More than any other recipe I’ve ever created, this is the one I get asked for repeatedly. As I sit writing this blog post and my girls are upstairs napping, THREE of my girlfriends have messaged saying, coincidentally, that they’re each making these Brussels sprouts for dinner tonight. Make them and you’ll see why too. They’re roasty, toasty, sweet, salty, and tangy. Without further ado, I offer you my Sexy Sprouts!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 TBSP rice vinegar
- 2-3 TBSP Sriracha sauce
- 1/4 cup crushed cashews
Preheat oven to 425°.
De-stem all your Brussels sprouts and slice the largest ones in half. I like to pull some outer leaves off of the sprouts that I’ve sliced in half. The loose leaves roast really nicely. They get all crispy & charred around the edges which is my favorite part.
Throw all the Brussels sprouts in a Ziploc bag. Whisk up your olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey marinade and pour it into the bag. Seal and shake to coat the sprouts evenly. Add salt and pepper to the bag, shake again.
Dump the sprouts onto a baking sheet. No need for foil or cooking spray. The olive oil in the marinade is just enough to keep them from sticking. Pop them into a 425° oven on a center rack and roast for 12-15 minutes until browning & tender. Watch your Brussels sprouts very closely the last five minutes. It’s been my experience that they go from raw to burnt-to-a-crisp in only a few minutes flat. Bigger sprouts may be closer to the 15 minute mark, while the smaller guys are perfect at about 12.
While the sprouts are in the oven whisk together the Sriracha Aioli by combining mayo, rice vinegar, and Sriracha. I’m a 2 tablespoon Sriracha gal but if 3 tablespoons of spicy goodness is more your speed, I say go for it.
Remove Brussels sprouts from the oven and pile them high on a serving dish. Drizzle Sriracha Aioli over that mountain of crispy sprout heaven ’til your heart is content and top them with crushed cashews.
Serve & enjoy. Try not to stab anyone’s finger with your fork if they beat you to the last Brussels sprout.
Some tried & true tricks:
- Measure your olive oil out first in your measuring spoon, followed then by your honey. Your honey won’t stick to the spoon if your oil was the last thing in it and will slide out easily. Trust me when I say you want every drop of that sweet caramelizing potion.
- Resist the urge to add more marinade than a single teaspoon each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is just enough to coat 1 lb. of Brussels sprouts. The goal is not to drown them, just elevate their flavor. Too much liquid and they end up steamed rather than roasted.
- Don’t overcrowd your pan! If I’m doubling this recipe, which I often do, I use a second sheet pan rather than cramming them all on one. If your Brussels sprouts are piled too high or too crowded together, again, you’ll end up steaming your sprouts. You don’t want that. Unless of course crispy caramelized sprouts aren’t your jam. Then, whatever. You do you, boo.
- This is a great dish to prep ahead of time. It can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Once the Brussels sprouts are in the Ziploc and the Sriracha Aioli is in an air tight container I put them both in the fridge to hang out until I’m ready to roast, assemble, & serve.
- A couple variations I’ve tried are toasted almonds, or crushed peanuts instead of cashews. A girlfriend of mine swears by toasted pine nuts. (Do I run in a wild & crazy circle or what??)
- For a lower calorie Sriracha Aioli I sub plain Greek yogurt in place of the mayonnaise.