The best roasted Brussel sprouts you'll try this year – with one very unexpected ingredient

If roasted Brussel sprouts are on your Thanksgiving or Christmas menu this year, then this recipe may be what you need to add some oomph to your dinner spread

roasted brussel sprouts on christmas table
(Image credit: www.heinztohome.co.uk )

Whoever said Brussels sprouts were boring was oh so wrong. And they clearly hadn't tried roasted brussel sprouts which is by far, one of the best ways to enjoy these little green balls of joy. It's often a love them or hate them kind of situation with sprouts, but despite that, they still find a way to creep onto our Thanksgiving dinner spread and they always make a come back for Christmas dinner too...

While you may not have given this seasonal vegetable that much love in previous years, we're here with the most interesting roasted Brussel sprout recipe you could actually think of. It's the farthest thing from boring or bland that you will find, and it's all down to one very special ingredient...

Because when we say sprouts, you might not automatically think of black garlic roasted Brussel sprouts now would you? But we're not lying, this recipe is real and this recipe is delicious. Keep scrolling to surprise your tastebuds this year.

What is the difference between black garlic and regular garlic?

Black garlic is actually regular garlic, that has been fermented. Humidity and a high temperature turn the cloves black and in terms of taste and texture, the garlic becomes sweeter and with a softer consistency than regular garlic when raw – almost as if it's been roasted. 

So, it's an interesting process that you can actually do yourself. However, if in doubt about finding black garlic last minute (it can also be on the expensive side), you can roast a bulb of garlic instead. 

1. Simply heat your oven to 400°F (205°C). 

2. Peel your bulb of garlic a little and chop oFf about an inch from the top. 

3. Place it in a small muffin dish, chopped side up, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 30–40 minutes until you can see the cloves are golden in color and soft. Use this in the roasted Brussel sprouts recipe below if you need a backup! It will still give you a gorgeous taste.

Why do Brussel sprouts go bitter?

This is perhaps where your previous Brussels sprouts nightmares came from. And the reason for it is actually all down to the cooking process.

Sprouts contain thiocyanates (we're not expecting anyone to know what this is!) which is an acidic antioxidant, as well as glucosinolates (usually found in mineral and vitamin-rich vegetables) and these are release in cooking. So the quicker you cook your sprouts, the better. Hence why no one likes a boiled Brussels sprout...

Cutting them in half as we do in the sprouts recipe below is a great way to avoid that bitter taste as it speeds up the cooking, while pan frying them also helps to retain all their good flavor, rather than anything that will leave a nasty aftertaste in your mouth.

Black garlic roasted Brussel sprouts recipe

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 450g Brussels sprouts (cleaned and cut in half)
  • 1.5 tbp Chinese black vinegar
  • 20 black garlic cloves (about one large bulb)
  • 100ml mayonnaise (we use Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise)
  • 1tsp crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs thyme, finely chopped
  • 25g salted butter
  • 1 tsp zest and juice of a lemon
  • 30g toasted pine nuts

Method:

1. Start by preheating your oven to 400ºC.

2. Next, toss the sprouts in a good glug of Extra Virgin olive oil, adding in the coriander seeds also, plus some seasoning. 

3. Once the oven is fully warmed up, add your sprouts mixture to a baking tray and roast these for 10 minutes or so until golden but still crunchy.

4. Smash the black garlic using a pestle and mortar to form a paste, with the lemon juice and thyme.

5. Mix in your mayo, along with the black vinegar and set this aside. 

6. Next, melt the butter in a pan until golden and foaming. Then toss in the sprouts and sauté them for a few seconds, before adding the black garlic paste. 

7. Spoon your sprouts onto your favorite serving dish to match your Thanksgiving tablescape and add your mayo on the side. Finally, garnish with the toasted pine nuts and lemon zest. Voilà.

How healthy are roasted Brussel sprouts?

It's probably worth a mention that while Brussels sprouts are healthy in themselves, you may have noticed that this recipe isn't super light! But it is delicious, and if you do want to make it healthier then swap for a light version of the mayonnaise.