a trio of roasted veggies - crispy kale, butternut squash, and mixed veggies
If there was any food that I didn’t like to eat when I was growing up, it was brussel sprouts. Now that I’m an adult I decided it would be wise to give these mini-lettuce looking vegetables another try – they are good for me after all. So when I saw them in my local Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, I decided, now was as good a time as any. I’m not a fan of wilted greens so finding the right cooking method would be key.
I took some inspiration from Chef Anne Burrell. I remembered watching one of the episodes of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef several months ago, how she made oven roasted brussel sprouts. Growing up, my father used to steam them, making the leaves all wilted and I have never been a fan of wilted greens, so oven roasting seemed like a good alternative. I decided I would give them a shot, mixed with oven roasted kale and butternut squash. I took the plunge by cutting off the bottoms, removing the bad leaves, and then quartering these little lettuce-like heads. Before I put them on my baking sheet, I separated all the leaves as best I could. I coated them (and all the other vegetables) with a bit of olive oil, some sea salt, and some Italian seasoning. Italian seasoning is my go to seasoning blend. I love the flavors and have found the it goes well in a large variety of dishes that I make.
roasted brussel sprouts, butternut squash, and green beans
my first batch of crispy kale
roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts
I always roast my vegetables on a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean up). I spread them out in an even layer, so that they can cook evenly and always try to keep all pieces about the same size so that they cook evenly. I think you can vary the oven temp and cooking time, but what’s worked well for me is to set the oven to 300 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Generally I make these a day in advance, storing them in a glass container and then heating them up in the microwave at work for 3 minutes. I find that any al dente veggies do their final cooking when they are reheated.
butternut squash and brussel sprouts - before roasting
roasted carrots, broccoli, and brussel sprouts
roasted butternut squash, broccoli, mushrooms, and eggplant
Using this cooking method, I’ve also made crispy kale, which is prepared the exact same way and I find the cooking temp and time are comparable. When my oven is on, you will likely find all vegetables roasting together, so this fact about time and temperature are important. I don’t store the kale in the same container as my other vegetables though, because I found that the crispness tends to disappear overnight when I do that, but in its own container, it stays crispy for several days.
It’s odd how much I love brussel sprouts now, even though when I was a kid, I would do all that I could to get out of eating them. I even texted my dad a picture of them one night, because I thought he would be so surprised and proud that I cooked them (and actually, yes that I cooked in general). I have realized that the more veggies I eat, the fewer cravings I have for sweets, so that being said, I’m going to keep eating my veggies.
Are there any vegetables that you didn’t like as a child that you love as an adult? What changed about them that made you like them?