1-2 lbs brussels sprouts
 
1-2 lemons quartered for drizzling
 
olive oil
 
salt and pepper to taste
 
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, shaved.

Roast Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

baby red pepper co. 2/2/16
When I was a child, brussels sprouts came to the table in a steaming bowl, reduced to a mushy consistency and drained of color. It was the 60s afterall and middle America was completely clueless about cooking vegetables.. Being from the South Moms went one step worse, vegetables were boiled, boiled and boiled some more (maybe add some bacon fat, yum). Much as I worship my mother, she commited atrocities in that kitchen that would keep a Haigh prosecuter up at night.  
 
For years after, the mere thought of brussels sprouts would trigger a gag reflex. As would asparagus with the consistency of toothpaste and creamed spinach...two foods I still can't eat. Fortunately, with the patience  and tender care of my wife, I was able to recover from my early trauma regarding Brussels Sprouts. Asparagus...well, some things require analysis.
 
The first time my wife cooked brussels sprouts for me was about six months into our marriage. It was a stealth dish but, that far into a marriage, you have to go with it. It was a casserole of bacon fried chesnuts, bacon, chicken stock and breadcrumbs tossed with the sprouts then baked in a 350 F oven for 35 min.  It was game changing. However, I have vowed that we will never peel chestnuts dripping with hot bacon fat again. Fortunately, you can get them peeled in a good Asian food store and the taste is acceptable.
 
Following is a far simpler recipe for roasted sprouts tossed in olive oil and dressed with parmesan. This couldn't be easier or better. It is one of my favorite vegetable dishes.
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Wash and remove the outer layer of leaves form each sprout. Halve each.
  3. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice to coat. Lightly salt.
  4. Spread a layer of sprouts on a rimmed baking sheets and roast for 15 min or so until the sprouts are beginning to get tender with some char. Check your pan frequently.
  5. Turn the broiler on and toss shaved parmesan cheese over the sprouts and allow the cheese to melt slightly.
  6. Dress with additional lemon and black pepper.