Stop! Before you even think about blowing this recipe off because you don’t like brussel sprouts, give me 2 minutes of your time and hear me out. Brussel sprouts have had some bad PR and I want to introduce them in a new light. Brussel sprouts are good (both for your health and your taste-buds), and they can be really good, if you make them the right way.
I am a relatively recent convert to brussel sprouts. The first time I had them was at a dinner party a couple years ago. I didn’t want to be prejudiced, but I was afraid as the brussel sprouts made their way onto my plate. I took a tentative bite, expecting bitterness. To my surprise, they were delicious. It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but they were seriously yummy. Straight out of the oven, the brussel sprouts were perfectly crispy and slightly salty on the outside. The inside was piping hot and cooked just enough to have that tender but crunchy texture (think broccoli here). I was in love.
After that, I attempted to make roasted brussel sprouts several times but failed miserably. I ordered brussel sprouts in restaurants whenever I saw them on the menu, hoping it would be as magical as that first time, but nothing came even close. I eventually came to accept that my first encounter with brussel sprouts was a once in a lifetime experience – never to be replicated again.
Fast forward to November 2009 at camping in San Clemente with the DG girls. We had compulsively bought a giant stalk of brussel sprouts (because it was pretty) and were wondering what to do with it. We decided to improvise. We grabbed different ingredients and started chopping. We had so many brussel sprouts that we ended up with two foil packets. Both had chopped onions, a couple garlic cloves and a little splash of olive oil. At the last minute, we decided to add balsamic vinegar to the second packet. We sealed the foil packets and over the fire they went.
What came out of that second foil packet was amazing. I don’t think we had any specific expectations but we were all really surprised by how good these roasted balsamic brussel sprouts were. What was equally surprising was how many brussel sprouts we managed to eat that weekend! If you’re going to give brussel sprouts an honest try, an eating contest is not necessary, but you have to try them THIS way. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. You may discover a new love or rekindle an old flame like I did.
Roasted Balsamic Brussel Sprouts
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Activity GuideBike Touring, Car Camping, Backpacking
- 2 cups brussel sprouts, halved
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/8 cup olive oil (a healthy splash, enough to coat everything)
- 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of pepper
- Aluminum Foil
- Cutting Board
- Firewood or Coal
- Put brussel sprouts, chopped onions and garlic cloves in the center of a 12 inch sheet of foil. Make sure there is enough extra foil around the ingredients to fold the foil packet tightly.
- Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Use tongs to mix all ingredients evenly.
- Fold foil to create a packet, making sure to seal the seams tightly. Place the foil packet on a grate over the fire or directly on embers.
- Keep a close eye on the packet and open once in a while, using tongs, to stir ingredients. Rotate position if necessary.
- Your roasted balsamic brussel sprouts are ready when they are slightly crispy and charred on the outside and the balsamic vinegar has caramelized at the bottom of the foil packet. These are best when served immediately.