As a child, I remember Brussels sprouts as being held up as the epitome of gross vegetables on every kids’ show I watched. The mere mention of the little green vegetable made actors and cartoon characters wrinkle their noses in disgust.
As an adult, I love Brussels sprouts. I figured it was just due to kids not liking vegetables and me having a better palate now that I’m grown up, but then I came across a 2019 report from National Public Radio that explains that Brussels sprouts actually are tastier than they were when I was in grade school.
According to the story, a seed producer in the Netherlands set out to breed a much less bitter version of the plant in the 1990s, and once they perfected the new sprouts, consumers couldn’t get enough. Demand for Brussels sprouts have reached an all-time high.
So, if you’re wrinkling your nose at this week’s recipe, thanks to bad childhood memories, don’t. It’s time to give Brussels sprouts a try once again.
The recipe I tried this week comes from the blog “TropRockin.com” by Tammy Camp. You can find the original post at https://www.troprockin.com/air-fryer-brussels-sprouts/. I tripled the spices and doubled the cheese in my version. I also added oven directions in addition to the author’s air fryer directions.
Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- Clean and trim your Brussels sprouts, and then dry them as much as you can with a paper towel.
- In a bowl, stir the oil, paprika, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper until everything is well combined. Add your halved Brussels sprouts to the bowl and stir until they are evenly coated in the seasonings.
- If you want to make these in an air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees. Place your sprouts in a single layer and cook for eight to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they reach your desired tenderness. Drop the temperature to 320 degrees, sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the sprouts, and cook for another two minutes to melt the cheese.
- If you’re making these in the oven, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place your sprouts in a single layer on the sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they reach your desired tenderness. Sprinkle the parmesan over the top of the sprouts, and cook for another couple of minutes until the cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately.
These were delicious. I like to roast my Brussels sprouts until they’re starting to get a little crispy around the edges and are fork tender.
And, after this great meal, I’d like to personally thank the Dutch horticulturist who saved Brussels sprouts’ reputation and put them back on menus all over the world. Generations of children (and adults) are in your debt.
This piece first appeared in print on Dec. 21, 2023.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.