Brussels sprouts get a bad rap (rightfully so, for the most part). If you’ve ever been assaulted by the distinctly unpleasant aroma of a giant boiling pot of them, you know why. These tiny little cabbages share the unfortunate smell of their larger family members when prepared in the conventional way (boiling, steaming). But when you crank up the oven, toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and let them slow-cook in that dry heat? Oh, that smell seems like a bad dream that couldn’t possibly come from these crunchy little morsels. The edges caramelize and bring out the natural sweetness (I know!! I didn’t know it was there either!), and the outer leaves detach when tossed on the baking sheet, forming salty, potato-chip like bites that you just may end up frantically shoveling into your mouth over the hot oven before anyone sees you.
I was an immediate convert from the moment I first had brussels sprouts prepared this way, to the point where I actually crave them. And I’ve witnessed lifelong brussels sprout haters widen their eyes in happy surprise after trying one (maybe after I virtually forced one down their throats, but that’s not important). Give them a shot, especially right now, when they’re in high season and you can buy them right on the stalk. You won’t regret it.