When I say crispy brussels sprouts, I’m really talking about the kind of restaurant-style sprouts that have hung out in the heat to the point of straddling both sides of the “burnt” and “perfect” dividing line.
You know what I’m talking about. I almost called these charred brussels sprouts, because the depth of color and roasty-toastiness on these cruciferous bites is pretty close to that point. These crispy brussels sprouts are the best ever, precisely because of their edgeplay on the border of charred. So don’t be scared by their boldly rich color!
Oftentimes, brussels sprouts recipes seem to have improbably long roasting times, in my opinion. That longer cooking time exists only to create the caramelization that takes brussels from their sometimes bitter rawness to their more earthily roasted incarnation; the problem is, that same increased cooking time is also what can shove a roasted sprout deeply into overcooked & mushy territory.
And if there’s anything we can all agree on these days, it’s that soggy brussels suck. I’m eloquent like that.
So let me lay out my super simple trick for roasting these mini cabbage a-likes. For your best crispy brussels sprouts, you need a super hot oven and a pre-heated, oiled baking sheet.
That way, the brussels hit the oven on a blisteringly hot sheet and start sizzling before the door closes – which means color, caramelization and crispiness. The three Cs of crispy brussels sprouts. Say it with me. And all of that without cooking the texture outta those bad boys… and getting them on the table after only 20 minutes of cook time.
To really finish these sprouts with some pizazz, I made a quick warm dressing while they roasted. It’s just a quick blend of pantry ingredients – honey, red wine vinegar and pomegranate molasses – reduced down enough to coat the crispy brussels sprouts with a tangy, sweet-sour glaze that really makes their flavor shine.
If you wanna finish a little fancy, you can sprinkle over some fresh pomegranate arils and lime zest. For my non AIP peeps, a pinch of red pepper flakes in the glaze would give it a nice hint of heat that would be lovely with the sweetness of the honey.
(Choose a pomegranate molasses without added sugars or other additives. The only ingredient should be pomegranate juice.)Print
Caramelized Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Honey Pomegranate Glaze
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
- Category: vegetables, sides
- Method: oven, roasting
For the crispy brussels sprouts:
- 1 1/2 lbs / 680 g trimmed & halved brussels sprouts, about 1 inch / 2.5 cm in diameter
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For the honey pomegranate glaze:
- 3 tbsp / 45 ml honey
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp / 90 ml red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp / 30 ml pomegranate molasses, see notes
To garnish the glazed crispy brussels sprouts:
- 1/4 cup / 40 g pomegranate arils
- Zest of half a lime
PREP: Preheat the oven to 450 F / 230 C and place a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters of the oil in the oven as it comes to temperature. Toss the brussels sprouts in a bowl with the remaining 2 tablespoons / 30 milliliters of the oil, then toss again with the salt to coat evenly. Let the preheated & oiled baking sheet stay in the oven for an additional 5 – 8 minutes after the oven comes to temperature. You want the oil to be shimmering hot, but don’t want to let it smoke, so watch and adjust this timing to suit your oven.
ROAST: Remove the preheated baking sheet from the oven and place it on a trivet. Very carefully – the oil will splatter if you’re too forceful! – tip the brussels sprouts onto the baking sheet and use tongs to place them all cut side down. Roast the brussels sprouts until they are caramelized and deeply colored on both sides, but softened and tender inside, about 20 minutes. Remove the brussels sprouts from the oven and transfer them to a mixing bowl.
REDUCE: While the brussels are roasting, make the glaze. Warm the honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the red wine vinegar and pomegranate molasses, then bring to a gentle simmer and reduce the heat. Cook until the glaze reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.
DRESS: Toss the crispy brussels sprouts with the pomegranate glaze just before serving. Season with salt and pepper (omit pepper for AIP), to taste. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils and freshly grated lime zest, then serve immediately.
You will need to adjust your cooking times a little each way if your sprouts are very much larger or smaller.
Choose a pomegranate molasses without added sugars or other additives. The only ingredient should be pomegranate juice, like this one.