Why It Works
- Extremely high heat, plus a preheated roasting pan, gives the Brussels sprouts sweet flavor and a nutty char.
- Balsamic vinegar provides a tart counterpoint to the deeply browned sprouts.
The key to roasting Brussels sprouts is to use the full-on, frontal-assault, no-prisoners-taken, blast-the-sh*t-out-of-'em approach, a.k.a. very high heat. This allows the exteriors of the sprouts to caramelize and brown, producing sweet by-products, while at the same time making sure that they don't have enough time to develop the really sulfurous aromas that slower cooking can yield. Here, we drizzle the sprouts with balsamic vinegar after roasting to provide a nice tart glaze.
- 3 pounds (1.4kg) Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed, outer leaves removed, split in half (see note)
- 8 medium shallots, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) balsamic vinegar
Adjust oven racks to upper and lower middle positions and place a heavy rimmed baking sheet on each. Preheat oven to 500°F.
Toss sprouts, shallots, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl and toss to combine. When oven is hot, working quickly, remove the baking sheets with a dish towel or oven mitt. Divide brussels sprouts mixture evenly between both trays, shaking to distribute into a single even layer. Return pans to oven. Roast until brussels sprouts are deeply charred and fully tender, about 20 minutes total, tossing sprouts and rotating and swapping pans top to bottom half way through cooking.
Immediately after removing from oven, drizzle sprouts with balsamic vinegar and shake to coat. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if desired and serve.
Rimmed baking sheets
Look for sprouts about one and a half inches in diameter, with tight heads. Chicken, turkey, or duck fat can be used in place of the olive oil. Crisped bacon or fatback can be added to the Brussels sprouts after roasting.