roasted brussels sprouts with lemony browned butter
One of my favorite things about winter is the return of brussels sprouts.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to live in a world where the mere thought of a sprout crossing my lips would send me running. I’m not sure when the change took place but these days I am always happy to make their acquaintance. I’ve been stuck on the same recipe for awhile and was pretty much ready to rest on my laurels when I came across Molly Stevens version in her latest book All About Roasting.
You start by oven roasting a pile of brussels sprouts, which if you are me already has you sold. Once you have them browned on one side and shiny emerald green on the other. You bang them around with a little browned butter and add some lemon to close the deal. The butter is sweet and nutty and belies the earthy bitterness of the brussels sprouts. Topped with a little parmesan and scooped up on a hunk of crusty bread, they might be all you need for a warm dinner on a cool night.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemony Browned Butter
Molly's original recipe calls for mustard seeds and capers.
I had none at the time but I would imagine both would pair beautifully with this dish.
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1-2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
freshly shaved parmesan to taste
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 425 degrees F. Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Depending on their size, cut the Brussels sprouts in halves or quarters; you want them to be small enough to be bite-sized. Place in a large bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the sprouts in a single layer on the baking sheet. Don't worry if some of the leaves fall off, they will crisp up and add a lovely crunch to the dish.
Roast the brussels sprouts in the oven, turning once or twice with a heat-proof spatula, until the sprouts are tender throughout and smaller bits or leaves that have fallen off are browned and crunchy, 20 to 25 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing a sprout with the tip of a paring knife, or simply eat a piece right off a handy fork.
Meanwhile, make the browned butter. Melt the butter in a small skillet or heavy saucepan (it should be no more than 6 inches across or the butter will burn). Cook over medium heat until the butter is melted. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, watching the pan carefully and swirling frequently, until the butter begins to foam, turns golden brown, and begins to give off a nutty scent (about 2 minutes). Add the lemon juice (the butter will sizzle) and immediately remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm until the Brussels sprouts are ready.
Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a serving dish and add the browned butter. Toss to coat. Taste for salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add the shaved parmesan to taste and serve immediately.