It's funny how you sometimes try a new food -- a relatively common food that you've never eaten before -- and wonder why you were avoiding it all of your life. That's what happened to me with Brussels sprouts recently. My dad doesn't like them, so my mom never fixed them. And I grew into a 40-something-year-old adult who had never tried them ... until a few weeks ago.
I was at a food-tasting event, and one of the dishes was roasted brussels sprouts. I took one to be polite, honestly, but when I popped it into my mouth, I couldn't believe how good it was! It was a revelation!
I stopped at the store on the way home and picked up a bag of brussels sprouts. I took them home, removed any long or bad ends or less-than-perfect outer leaves, sliced them in half lengthwise, and gave them a rinse.
To prepare them, I just put them in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, poured in a little olive oil, and gave them a toss. I poured them onto a jelly roll pan, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and popped them in the oven at 400 degrees F. for about 40 minutes. Every so often, I gave the pan a shake to toss them around a little, and added another sprinkling of salt and pepper. They came out crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. If you have spray olive oil, you could just lay them on the baking sheet and give them a spray before adding salt and pepper.
My family was as skeptical as I was. Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. But once they saw me eating these tasty little morsels like French fries, they gave in. My husband was as pleasantly surprised as I was when I first tried them. My middle son (we call him the gourmand) absolutely loved them and ate them until I told him it was time to stop. My oldest and youngest son ate a few, but weren't as in love with them as the rest of us. I blame cartoons for giving kids the idea that Brussels sprouts are only good for torturing kids who aren't allowed to leave the table until they finish eating.
Jayson, Luke, and I decided we weren't going to try to convince Jake and Will to jump on the Brussels sprouts bandwagon. That way, there will be more for us!