A tip for truly crisp brussels sprouts

and a damn good recipe for them too

Remember the great brussels sprouts renaissance of the early 2010s? Here’s a little trip down my own personal memory lane in case you need your memory jogged: I was tuning into prestige television like 16 and Pregnant, Glee, and, the final, truly wild season of Gossip Girl. When I got ready for a night out with friends, I donned low-rise, light washed skinny jeans, a patterned flowy top that purposefully exposed my black (?) bra straps, and tied it all together with a pastel cardigan, then hopped into my certified pre-owned Rav-4, where I’d crank the volume on my speakers to let everyone know I was a fan of 3OH!3, but you know, like, before they were cool. And every other time I ate out at a restaurant, I was almost certainly placing an order for the hottest side dish in town: cracklingly crisp brussels sprouts tossed with thick cut bacon, then drizzled with a syrupy balsamic vinegar reduction.

What a time. And honestly, what a side dish. Ordering a side of vegetables was cool (and tasty) again! Move over fries, there’s a new guy in town…and he’s green. But with hindsight, I can see that while I was getting greens in, those brussels babies certainly achieved their impossibly crisp exterior and velvety smooth center by taking a little dip in the deep fryer.

For crisp oven-roasted brussels sprouts, preheat your pan.

Yes, the fried guys are delicious, but I rarely have patience for deep-frying at home. When I eat brussels in the comfort of my own abode, though, I still want that satisfying crunch. And I bet you do too, so…

Here’s how:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F and place the pan you’re planning to use inside the oven while it preheats.

  2. Prep your sprouts, removing their woody stems and depending on their size, halving or quartering them. Toss them with oil, salt, and any other seasonings of choice. Don’t discard any of the leaves that fall off in this process—they roast up beautifully as well.

  3. Work fast, carefully, and in oven mitts for this part: once the oven and pan are preheated, remove the pan to a heat-safe surface. Optionally, pour a few tablespoons of additional oil on it, tilting the pan in various directions to spread it. You can skip this step, but the additional oil definitely yields the best crackle. Then spread your brussels sprouts out evenly on the pan, making sure their cut sides are mostly down.

  4. Roast between 20-40 minutes, depending on how dark you like your veg, tossing halfway through the cooking time.

As always, I’m dying to see you try this tip, so I’m excerpting a recipe from my e-book The Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep. While this recipe doesn’t involve bacon or a balsamic reduction, it is damn delicious.

Alright, that’s it for this week. Let me know if you try this out by dropping a comment, shooting me an email, or DMing me on Instagram. And if you’re enjoying the newsletter so far, I’d be forever grateful if you could take a moment to forward it to a few foodie friends. The more the merrier! If you want more meal prep-specific tips and an expertly curated menu on Fridays, read more about the paid subscription here.

With love and a tip of my chef’s hat,

Erica

Want more? I’m so flattered! You can also follow me on Instagram or check out my blog where you can find my tip-laden e-book collection.