By Angela Denstad Stigeler
Never mind that we may be in the throes of an icy mid-winter blast, optimists and prognosticators alike are already looking for signs of spring. This weekend, we’ll take into account what groundhogs have to say on the matter; whether we’re likely to see the first sprouts of spring shortly, or if they plan to keep hitting the snooze in the height of their hibernation. Either way, we’ll have six more weeks of winter, according to the calendar. But Groundhog Day does, in fact, mark the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Since there’s still a long wait for fresh spring fare, tuck into one of the winter’s tastiest vegetables. Not only are Brussels sprouts hearty and easy to prepare, these little cabbage-like cuties will get you thinking ahead to all those tender sprouts and baby vegetables to come. A simple roasting technique makes the most of their appeal, crisping their outer leaves and avoiding mushy middles. So while the winter season still favors them, fill up on these pre-spring sprouts. They’re not to be overshadowed!
Crispy Lemon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut in half, if large. Place them in a large glass baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Spread the sprouts into an even single layer.
Place the dish in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring every ten minutes to ensure even browning. Ten minutes before they’re done, squeeze the juice of an entire lemon onto the vegetables, then cut the lemon into pieces and mix into the Brussels sprouts. Put the dish back in to finish roasting.
Once the edges of the Brussels sprouts are crisp and brown, remove them from the oven. Adjust seasonings if needed and serve immediately.