I was so excited this week to find new season brussels sprouts at the market. Small, tightly furled and a bright emerald green they caught me by surprise. Weeks of uncharacteristically hot and humid weather, and a long, seemingly unending Indian summer have finally given way to a welcome cold snap. Suddenly our market stalls are flooded with cooler climate Autumn produce, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kale and brussels sprouts.
I have always been a fan of these unfashionable, much maligned little cabbage orbs and have long been on a mission to convince their many detractors that they truly are delicious. Finally I think I have found the perfect weapon. Crispy brussels sprouts chips. Cleverly deconstructed into leaves and hearts then roasted or fried to golden perfection. Reminiscent of last year’s faddishly popular kale chip which seemed to be a fixture in my winter kitchen. The verdict? Undeniably delicious and moreish. Instantaneously devoured by even the most sceptical, brussels sprout naysayer in our house. Suddenly there are no brussels sprouts loathers residing here. It’s music to my ears.
In the interests of experimentation I made these twice. Once roasted and once fried. To be honest there’s very little difference in flavour or crispness prepared either way. My preference, however, is towards roasting. Mostly because it involves an easier clean up of the kitchen afterwards, and of course uses a lot less oil and has to be healthier for you.
Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprout Chips With Balsamic Vinegar And Sea Salt
These are delicious roasted in the oven, or even fried. Whilst the main recipe is for roasted brussel sprout chips I have also included instructions for frying at the very bottom of the post.
500g brussels sprouts
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
PREHEAT oven to 180 C fan-forced. Line two large oven trays with baking paper.
USING a sharp paring knife, trim the stems off the brussels sprouts and peel away the outer leaves into a large bowl, discarding any that are tough or blemished. Continue trimming the stems and peeling away the leaves, until the leaves no longer separate easily. Place the hearts of the brussels sprouts into a separate bowl.
SLICE the brussels sprouts hearts in half, drizzle with a little olive oil and toss until lightly coated. Spread evenly over one of the lined oven trays. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and place in hot oven to roast for about 15 minutes until golden and crispy.
MEANWHILE toss the leaves with a little olive oil until lightly coated. Spread in an even layer over the second lined oven tray and season liberally with sea salt. Roast in a hot oven for about 10 minutes until golden and crispy.
TRANSFER the roasted hearts and leaves to a large bowl. Drizzle over a little thick and syrupy balsamic vinegar. Serve immediately.
FILL a wok or frying pan with 5cm of vegetable oil and heat until a tester leaf dropped into the oil sizzles and cooks quickly.
FRY brussels sprouts hearts in a separate batch for a minute or so until golden and crisp.
THEN fry brussels sprouts leaves in two or three batches for 30 seconds at a time, until golden and crisp.