Once upon a time, in the city of Salem, MA, there was a restaurant. This restaurant was called Opus. And within this restaurant was served the most delicious, most magical side dish in all the land. That magical side dish was crispy fried brussels sprouts with pickled red onions. And all who ate the brussels sprouts were filled with joy and happiness. The people of Salem rejoiced.
But one Salem resident, named Elizabeth (that’s me!), could not afford to eat at Opus very often. And so, Elizabeth set out to make her own crispy brussels sprouts with pickled red onions.
lots of dedication and perseverance very little time and energy, Elizabeth succeeded in making brussels sprouts delicious enough to rival even the magical ones at Opus. And she, her husband, and the brussels sprouts lived happily ever after.
I lied. That’s not the complete end. I need to tell you how AMAZINGLY EASY and delicious these brussels sprouts are! Not to mention, they are gorgeous. I love the bright pink of the pickled onions against the roasted green of the sprouts. They are just as pretty as they are yummy.
This is an impressive side dish to make for guests (and for all you forward-thinkers out there, for next Thanksgiving or Christmas) and, even though it may seem fancy and complicated, it’s actually quite easy.
At Opus, they fry their brussels sprouts. Fried brussels sprouts are, um, probably the most amazing thing to eat in the world. But, frying things at home is a) a pain in the neck, and b) not the healthiest of options. So, I roasted mine to crispy perfection. Still amazingly delicious.
Roasting brussels sprouts (or any vegetable, for that matter) is the best way to cook them, in my opinion. It brings out a smoky depth of flavor that you don’t get by sauteing, steaming, or boiling. And it’s so easy!
Just coat the prepped (washed, ends trimmed, and quartered or halved) brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper (or squash, or potatoes, or whatever you are roasting). Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. I used parchment paper so mine wouldn’t stick (with a little folded up rim, to prevent spillage, since I don’t have a rimmed baking sheet. I DON’T HAVE A RIMMED BAKING SHEET. And here I am, a food blogger. What is wrong with me?!) Then, roast at a high temperature (I did 425 degrees), stirring and flipping every 10 minutes or so, until tender and browned. Brussels sprouts take about 30 minutes; other veggies take shorter or longer depending on their size and type.
My two tips for making the best, most tasty and perfect roasted veggies:
- Stir the veggies, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. This will ensure even coating of the veggies without using too much olive oil.
- Use plenty of salt. Plenty. I mean it. Don’t skimp!
Onto the pickled red onions. AKA, my new favorite thing to munch on from my fridge.
Before any of this roasting happens, you will have to make the pickled onions. I’ve made pickled things before (jalapenos, green beans, and sweet dill cucumbers), and I always use a quick, refrigerator pickle method (that means they aren’t canned- they are just soaked in a brine and put in the fridge). This is, however, the easiest, fastest method I have used to date.
Here it is.
Boil some water in a tea kettle (or in a pot on the stove). Fill a mason jar with thinly sliced red onions. Add 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt, and a few peppercorns to the jar. Fill the jar halfway with vinegar, and fill the rest of the jar with the hot water. Cover the jar, shake, and refrigerate. In 30 minutes, you will have pickled onions!
These pickled onions are, by the way, EXCELLENT in salads and on sandwiches, if you have leftovers. They last indefinitely in the fridge (months and months) because of the vinegar and salt, so you can make these way ahead of time and just top your roasted brussels sprouts with them when you are ready to eat them.
We had our brussels sprouts with sweet potato cakes- recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. It was a delicious veggie-filled feast that left us feeling satisfied and healthy.
I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE you to make these crispy brussels sprouts with pickled red onions as soon as possible. Let me repeat that: STRONGLY ENCOURAGE. Quick, before brussels sprouts are out of season!
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Pickled Red Onions
For the pickled red onions:
For the brussels sprouts:
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts- washed trimmed, and halved (or quartered, if large)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- To make the pickled red onions, fill a mason jar with the sliced onions. Add the sugar, salt, peppercorns, and vinegar to the jar. Add boiling water to the jar, cover, and shake. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes; overnight for best flavor.
- Serve the pickled onions on top of the brussels sprouts. Use leftover onions for sandwiches or salads!