Monday, June 23, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and a Very Barefoot Contessa Weekend

I'm writing this late Sunday night, as Jet Blue has stranded The Boyfriend and I in Virginia. Not that I mind. His mom, brother, sister-in-law, freakishly adorable nearly-two-year-old nephew, and freakishly adorable brand-new nephew are all here, and they're nifty people. We've spent the last three days in a whirlwind of swimming, learning the letter B, and eating our faces off. It's not a bad life, man.

Off the six meals we've cooked so far, a whopping four have come courtesy of Barefoot Contessa. I LOVE INA GARTEN. This has been stated and restated in this blog, but the adoration/near-obsession can not be adequately documented, no matter how long/extensively I babble/type. The woman is a goddess in blue collared shirts. I am gigantically jealous of her husband Jeffrey, not because he's married to her, but because he gets to eat her food. ALL THE TIME.


Anyway, we've so far prepared her stellar Turkey Lasagna, Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, Macaroni and Cheese, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Of the four, the first three are neither particularly cheap or healthy. The Brussels Sprouts, though ...

Dude. Mmmm.

If you're not a fan of sprouts, I can see how this "mmm" might not be enough to put you over the "ew" edge. (I'm talking to you, Ma.) HOWEVER, if you're even slightly interested in green things in any capacity, I highly suggest giving them a try. Perfectly salted, crunchy on the outside, and soft in the middle, they're delicious little bombs of veggie goodness. Four or five (okay, maybe six) are plenty filling for a side dish, and they can be paired with just about anything. (Her Orzo with Roasted Vegetables, for instance.)

As with almost all BC recipes, you could probably cut the olive oil by at least a third, and still have the dish tasting like a plate of heaven. However, I haven't tried it that way, so this was plenty good for now.

Readers, if you have anymore Barefoot suggestions that might be suitable for this blog, please let me know. She will always find a home here (even if the Hamptons might be a tad more comfortable).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 6
Adapted from Ina Garten.
Note: Cell phone picture. Sorry 'bout that.

1-1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends cut off and yellow outer leaves removed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and if you like, spray with cooking spray.

2) In a medium bowl, mix Brussels sprouts, oil, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat. Pour mixture on baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until sprouts are browned and beautiful outside, tender and wonderful on the inside. Salt to taste. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
108 calories, 7 g fat, $0.56

1-1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts: 293 calories, 2 g fat, $2.98
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil: 355 calories, 40.2 g fat, $0.36
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.01
TOTAL: 648 calories, 42.2 g fat, $3.36
PER SERVING (TOTAL/6): 108 calories, 7 g fat, $0.56

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Jaime said...

Brussels sprouts *obsession* spread through my group of friends last fall. I had never eaten them before, but on a new seasonal food kick, and missing the summer's peppers and string beans, I gave them a shot. And OH MY GOD. Roasted or sauteed, if you do it right, with just oil and salt, they get golden and crispy on the outside and melty inside and they're obscenely delicious. Gah. Is it October yet?

mollyjade said...

We changed the mind of my Brussels-sprout hating father by serving him roasted Brussels sprouts. They're completly different from those smelly over-boiled things he didn't like. Do you have access to the Veganomicon? Because the Cornmeal Masala Roasted Brussels sprouts are wonderful (and also heavy on the olive oil...)

K said...

Today when I read this new post in my rss reader it came up with a pop up box to log in with a password:

"The server at requires a username and password."

It still shows the post without password.

I tried other feeds in my reader and it is only when I come back to your feed that I get that message. It does not do it with last Friday's post...just Monday's. Don't know what is up with that.

Kris said...

Hi K - thanks for the heads up. Another reader pointed it out as well, and the issue should be fixed now. After today's read, the OWA box won't show up anymore. My apologies to everyone.

Daniel Koontz said...

I had the same experience (not with the OWA box, but with the brussel sprouts...). I HATED them as a kid. I thought they were put here by God solely for the purpose of making me miserable. And my parents made me have at least one every time they served it at dinner. I could barely hold it down.

But then at around age 30 I had baked sprouts seasoned with a little salt and lemon juice... and they were good!

I know your palate changes as you get older (thank goodness, especially re: olives), but this was a real shocker to me.

Casual Kitchen

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is the best way to fix brussel sprouts. Other faves from Ina: Pasta, Pesto & Peas!, Sauteed Carrots, Fresh Corn Salad, Provencal Tomatoes!, Herb-Baked Eggs, and Ourtageous Brownies!!!

Anonymous said...

It's my boyfriend and me. If you could use "us" in place of the two names, you should use "me."

Kris said...


Julia said...

How did brussels sprouts get a bad rap anyway?? They are splendidly delicious! If only I could go back in time and erase their bad reputation, I would have been eating them long before I started.