At our house, we are all about veggies every night–for two reasons. First of all, we are trying to eat more healthfully in general as we lose weight and seek to eat more nutrient-dense foods and feel great. Secondly, since Ray Baby and I both practice Daily Intermittent Fasting, we only eat in a three to five hour eating window each day. We simply have to be sure that vegetables are a part of that eating window as much as possible.
I’ve raved about some of my favorite ways to make green beans in my 3 Favorite Green Bean Recipes post. We do a lot of oven roasting, air frying, and stir frying. My favorite way to prepare veggies for ease of cooking is oven roasting. You simply prep the veggies, put them on a cookie sheet (or jelly roll pan for a bunch!), and pop them in the oven. I love those easy preps!
This recipe is a little more elaborate than simply oven roasting, but I still love making it. It requires “blanching” first, which I circumvent somewhat by microwaving. We have steamed frozen veggies in the microwave for our large family for dozens of years. We even have our huge glass bowls that accommodate three pounds of frozen corn or three pounds of frozen green beans–and every child in the family learned our “secret sweet corn” steps and “perfect frozen green bean” steps for these large bowls. Traditions…oh how I love them.
I haven’t made Brussels sprouts a lot. When our oldest was little, I used to make them often–and I remember him calling them ‘baby cabbages” (and broccoli was “baby trees”). But I think through the years enough kids didn’t like them that we just stopped making them very often. So when those smashed Brussels sprouts videos started popping up in my FB feed, I was drawn to the ease of the recipe and the bright greenness of these “baby cabbages” again.
But before I give you the recipe, the Language Lady in me has to give you some grammar and usage tips regarding the name of these veggies. First of all, when you have a proper noun element in what seems to be a common noun, the proper noun portion of the phrase keeps its capitalization (blacked-eyed Susan, Brussels sprouts, Wisconsin cheese). I knew that already, but I didn’t consider why BrusselS sprouts has the S at the end of Brussels! Then it dawned on me that the place, Brussels, is not Brussel…so the sprouts would be BrusselS sprouts, not Brussel. I still haven’t figured out why they’re not Brussels’ sprouts though since they belong to Brussels….but this is not the Character Ink/Language Lady blog, so I’ll leave these usage quandaries here! 🙂
Anyway…here is the recipe along with some tips:
1) Double this if you’re feeding more than two or three people. People really seem to like these!
2) Season thoroughly.
3) Don’t overcook during the blanching process. You want a lot of the cooking to be in the roasting; however, in order to smash and roast, they need to be softened. So don’t overcook during blanching but do cook enough to be able to smash thoroughly.
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- Preheat oven to 425° and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To "blanch" EITHER--(a) Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and very tender, about 10 minutes. OR (b) Place in microwave dish with ¼ cup water; cover tightly; cook for 4 to 6 minutes until partially cooked and still bright green.
- Add Brussels sprouts to ice bath to cool then drain.
- On a large baking sheet, toss blanched Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic and thyme.
- Using the end of a small glass or mason jar, press down on the Brussels sprouts to smash them into a flat patty.
- Season each smashed Brussels sprout with All Purpose Seasoning Mix and pepper OR salt and pepper, then sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top.
- Bake until the bottoms of the sprouts are crispy and the cheese is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
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