Cheap, Sustainable, Delicious: Maple-Chile Roasted Brussels Sprouts

A dash of maple syrup and fiery chiles gives Brussels sprouts a sweet-hot kick.

Maple-chile roasted brussels’ sprouts fresh out of the oven. (Photo: Ian Knauer)

Nov 16, 2012· 1 MIN READ
Ian Knauer is a regular contributor to TakePart. He has worked for Gourmet and is the author of the IACP Award–nominated cookbook The Farm.

Thanksgiving is next week, which means you still have time to think about what you’re going to make, but not that much time. If you and your family are like most Americans, then you have your staples—standards that you’ve had every year since you came into this world and dishes that you’d miss if they were left out. Your grandma’s versions of turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and so on will always grace your table, and should, too, since they’re part of your family’s tradition.

But there’s always room for new favorites. Every year I like to try out a potential new standard to see if it sticks. Last year, I tried maple-chile roasted Brussles sprouts, and they stuck. These are the best sprouts I’ve ever had, and from here on in they’ll be part of my T-day tradition.

By this point I think it’s well established that Brussles sprouts are delicious. Gone are the rumors that they are a disgusting, mushy, sulphur-smelling slop of a vegetable, which means we can focus on how they might be best cooked and enjoyed.

A simple olive-oil-salt-and-pepper roast at a high temperature is always going to win hearts and minds, but building on that foundation is a great idea and introducing contrasting or balancing flavors (like sweet to counter the salt or chile to add a pop) can make them really shine. In fact, this year when I fill my holiday plate, I’ll be going light on the turkey and heavy on the spouts.

Maple-Chile Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Serves 4 to 6)

1 1/2 pounds Brussles sprouts, trimmed and quartered

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

1 small fresh chile, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil

Toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil, salt, pepper, shallot, chile, and garlic. Roast the sprouts until browned and tender, about 45 minutes. Toss the sprouts with the maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste. Serve.