I bring these roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Thyme to you today because they are long overdue and I have a debt to settle in that regard.
Let me back up. Last year in November, a few weeks before Thanksgiving, I was in Chicago at a food blogging conference. I distinctly remember where I was standing in a hallway when an email came into my inbox from a woman. Let’s call her Donna. She said she had been on my website, looking and looking but she couldn’t find that roasted Brussels sprouts recipe. She had made it Thanksgiving the year before and her family had requested it again. She said that she KNEW she had found it on my site yet couldn’t find it again.
You see, it’s actually an embarrassment that “Seasonal” is my middle name, I spout off about CSA shares this or that more than anyone really wants to hear, and yet I have glaringly omitted sharing a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts until now. I mean Brussels sprouts are THE seasonal vegetable right now. And they are SOOOooo good roasted. How can this be? This is a fail. And I had to let Donna down easy that the search would continue.
Trying to be helpful I pointed her to the Brussels sprouts recipes I did have on my site at that point. I have them shredded and sautéed. But I definitely did not have roasted Brussels sprouts on here. (Yet.)
So you’re wondering why does this really matter that much, why do I remember the email coming in. It’s what my friend recently told me is called a lollypop moment. It was the moment where I had an epiphany, thanks to Donna, she gave me a lollypop, and made a subtle pivot point in my food blogging journey. I alluded to it here in my year in review post.
What I mean is, that Lollypop moment was the realization that you guys love me for my veggies. And you come here for the veggies. For my Brussels sprouts. And I am so relieved to not have to pretend that I am someone else, because I fucking LOVE vegetables and can rock a roasted Brussels sprouts recipe like it is my job. (Hey, it is.)
Once I had that moment it was like things got a lot easier. I didn’t have to worry about hashtagpaleocopycats anymore. You just want the veggies. And I am all over that.
So here they are, one year later. They’re back in season, and it’s almost Thanksgiving. I sure hope Donna comes back and gives these roasted Brussels sprouts a try.
So how did I make them?
5 Tips for the best Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- First and foremost, you have to get your oven hot. When you’re roasting veggies, you want to roast them hot so that they don’t steam in their own juices. You can read more about how liquid impedes caramelization here.
- Cut your Brussels sprouts in half, or not. You just want to make sure they are all the same size. I like to cut them in half so that they cook more quickly. I figure since I am trimming them anyway, I may as well cut them in half. Plus I like the way the flat surface gives more opportunity for a good sear!
- Avoid burning. Because you’re going for browning, you don’t want to add things that, when chopped fine, will burn like garlic. If you do want to add garlic to roasted vegetables, that’s fine, just stir it in toward the end and only roast it for the last 5 or so minutes. I left it out entirely here since I wanted this recipe to be as easy as possible.
- Choose the right pan. You want a large rimmed baking sheet. I almost exclusively use half sheet pan. You can get them at Williams Sonoma or the Pampered Chef. Or if there is a restaurant supply store that is open to the public that will be the cheapest place to find them. One thing to know about half sheet pans is that they are made out of reactive aluminum and you shouldn’t use them with acidic ingredients. That’s why I drizzle the Balsamic on after it’s in the serving dish.
- Season it up! Speaking of balsamic vinegar. I used balsamic here because it is so simple and the sweetness of the vinegar goes so well with the roasty toasty nuttiness of the Brussels sprouts. I also used thyme since I have some growing in my garden (still!) and it will definitely be elsewhere in our Thanksgiving menu, so I know that this will jive with the other flavors in the meal.
These roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic and thyme are the perfect Thanksgiving vegetarian side dish! And they're ready in 45 minutes leaving you time to focus on the rest of the meal.
- 8 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup chopped toasted sliced almonds
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, thyme salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread out in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice until softened and browning in spots, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Just before serving, sprinkle with almonds and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
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