Ok, I promise this is my last roasted vegetable post for awhile, but I just had to get this recipe out there for you guys! For awhile I was on a huge Roasted Broccoli kick, and was eating that a couple times a week, but lately Brussels sprouts (or “alien heads” as we called them as kids) have stolen my heart.
You remember how I was saying that you could literally burn the broccoli and it’d still be delicious? Yeah. Same goes for these. In fact, last year while my husband and I were hosting friends-Thanksgiving for 25 guests, I did just that after forgetting to set the second oven timer. First, I had a mini-meltdown (I’d been bragging to everyone about my “perfect Brussels sprouts” for weeks leading up to the event, and sure I’d serve these as-is to my husband, but 25 people analyzing them?! Nooo.), then my girlfriend ate one to confirm her suspicions that my panic was unwarranted and talked me off the ledge, then we served them anyway. They tasted awesome. Complete people-asking-me-for-my-secret deliciousness. I’m not going to say it’s smart to overcook these, but I will say that there is a huge amount of leeway between cooked through and overdone. See? Foolproof.
The secret to roasted vegetables in general is high heat, but just how high you can go is going to be dictated by your choice of oil. In short, you don’t want to heat oil above its smoke point. I like to use avocado oil because it goes all the way to 11 500, allowing me to roast my veggies in the 450-475 range. If you only have extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) on hand, you’re going to be limited to somewhere in the 350-375 range.
Here’s what Wikipedia lists for the smoke points of the most common types of cooking oils:
|Canola oil||Expeller Press||375-450°F||190-232°C|
|Canola oil||High Oleic||475°F||246°C|
|Coconut oil||Virgin (Unrefined)||350°F||177°C|
|Coconut oil||Refined with stabilizers||450°F||232°C|
|Olive oil||Extra virgin||375°F||191°C|
|Olive oil||Extra light||468°F||242°C|
|Olive oil, high quality (low acidity)||Extra virgin||405°F||207°C|
The key is to go high temperature, but not so high you hit the smoke point of your fat. If you’re selecting a fat specifically for roasting, go high or go home – roasting above 450 is the only way to go, so don’t let your oil limit you. There is one exception to this, and that is flavor. If you need a flavorful oil for whatever reason, by all means go for it. Sometimes the flavor of a good olive oil is worth the lower heat.
Beyond all this talk of the perfect oil, the rest is simple – toss your veggies in oil, spread them on a pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake until the edges are browned and crispy. Easy peasy.