Poor Brussels sprouts have developed a bit of a bad rap over the years. People who think they’re mushy or bitter will just say “pass” when they come across the holiday table. But when prepared correctly, Brussels sprouts can be a spectacular side worthy of a spot in your Thanksgiving spread. So, how should you cook Brussels sprouts?
First off, Brussels sprouts should never be boiled — that would be a rookie cooking mistake. The secret to cooking perfect sprouts is simple: You need to roast them.
The first thing you should do is clean your Brussels sprouts. Remove any woody stems and yellow or brown outer leaves. Then, season them generously in a bowl with a good glug of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Next, spread them out on a lined baking tray and pop them into a hot oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, checking them and stirring them halfway through.
In the last 15 minutes, drizzle a few tablespoons of quality maple syrup over your sprouts and finish them in the oven until lovely, roasty, golden brown and delicious.
The maple syrup balances out the bitterness so often associated with Brussels sprouts, and roasting them in a hot oven yields a sprout that is crispy on the outside and tender in the middle.
If you really want to take these Brussels sprouts to the next level, add in some cooked bacon to the sprouts after they’ve finished roasting. The saltiness helps to balance out the sweetness of the syrup and the bitterness of the vegetable, creating a balanced dish that you can’t possibly resist. Plus, a little bacon adds a Southern twist. Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon ranks among the regional Thanksgiving dishes you need to try.