I recently had the great opportunity to spend some time in California. While driving between Pebble Beach and San Francisco we passed by field after field of amazing crops. It took me a while to figure out those fields were filled with artichokes and brussels sprouts. These are not crops I'm used to driving by here in Pennsylvania so I was pretty amazed with them. The image of the vast fields of brussels sprouts inspired me to try a new way of preparing them.
I don't have a great history with "brussel" sprouts. In fact, when given the choice, I have passed on them every single time they were served at dinner for my entire life. No thanks, no little steamed green mini Martian heads for me. I remember being really young and sitting at the dinner table with my cold uneaten sprouts - missing my chocolate pudding dessert for refusing to eat them. Those little green heads were pure evil to me…up until now.
Turns out I was wrong about brussels sprouts in a couple ways. 1. I have been calling them "brussel" sprouts without an "s" up until this week! Ha! Foodie status revoked! 2. With the correct cooking method, brussels sprouts can be amazing, craveable and worth fighting over. (I promise!)
Recently, while out for drinks and nibbles with some friends, someone ordered a fried brussels sprouts appetizer. I don't know what came over me, probably the cocktail, but I actually popped a sprout in my mouth! Mmm, they were caramelized, the outer leaves were crunchy salty and the insides were tender and sweet. They were delicious!
I wanted to recreate them, but couldn't bring myself to deep fry them. So it seemed like a perfect way to experiment with something new in the Philips Airfryer I won this past summer. I made airfried russet potato chips a couple weeks ago and they were amazing. So, I hoped that it would "fry" the sprouts to perfection too! I set to work and decided on 3 cooking methods so I could compare and share the results. I prepared a pound of brussels sprouts roasted in the oven, a pound sautéed in a skillet and a final pound in the Philips Airfryer. Check out the results below!
Brussels Sprouts Preparation:
Remove any tough leaves, trim the stems and cut in half vertically. Rinse and shake dry. Toss with olive oil and salt.
Roasted and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts:
The roasted sprouts were tender, caramelized and delicious! (photo below) I loved the crispy browned leaves that fell off the sprouts. The sautéed sprouts would need some work. They browned before they got tender and just didn't develop that yummy caramelized sweetness. I think I should have blanched them first and maybe added some bacon 😃
Airfried Brussels Sprouts:
Wow! I take back every bad thing I ever said about brussels sprouts! In 15 minutes, the Airfryer turned them into tender, caramelized yumminess with lots of little loose crispy leaves.
The Results: Airfryer #1, Roasting #2, Sautéed (back to the drawing board)
If you have an Airfryer, these sprouts are a definite must do! If you live near me and would like to borrow my Airfryer, just let me know. Roasting them is a pretty close second place - they still get perfectly tender and caramelized, and you still get some yummy crispy bits. I would highly recommend roasting as well.
Roasted Garlic and Thyme Dipping Sauce:
The Airfried or roasted sprouts are certainly yummy on their own. But if you'd like to serve them with a little dipping sauce, perhaps as an appetizer, the roasted garlic and thyme mayonnaise we dipped them in was really, really good! Recipe below.
Recipe: The Brussels Sprouts You Will Fight Over
Oven Roasted or Airfried
1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
5 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Remove any tough or bruised outer leaves.
Trim the stems. Cut in half vertically. Rinse and shake dry.
In a bowl, toss with olive oil and salt.
For Oven Roasting:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Spread the prepared sprouts on a large baking sheet.
Roast for 25-35 minutes or until the centers are tender and the outsides are caramelized. Stir occasionally.
I use regular baking sheets, not non-stick. You may need to reduce oven temperature by 25 degrees if using non-stick.
Cooking time may vary depending upon your oven and the size of sprouts.
For Airfrying w/ Philips Airfryer:
Set Airfryer to 390 degrees and preheat.
Add prepared sprouts to basket and set timer for 15 minutes.
While cooking, occasionally remove and shake basket or stir.
The sprouts are done when the centers are tender and the outsides are caramelized and a bit crispy.
Roasted Garlic and Thyme Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons roasted garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Combine in bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Can be made a day ahead of time.
To Roast Garlic:
Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Slice 1/2 inch off top of garlic head to expose cloves.
Place on a sheet of aluminum foil.
Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Close foil around garlic head.
Roast on baking sheet for about 50-60 minutes or until very soft.
You can start the garlic before your sprouts, then continue to roast with your sprouts.
To roast in your Airfryer: Place foil wrapped garlic in basket and cook at 390 degrees for about 30 minutes.