Oh kale, you know I think the world of you. A gold medalist in the world of crucifers, you are rich in those compounds that help reduce cholesterol, curb inflammation and prevent cancer. You are the mainstay of my most favorite salad in the entire world, you elevate my smoothie into the nutritional stratosphere, and you really, really just make me feel good about myself whenever I am with you.
When it comes to being lovingly smeared with olive oil and crisped to snack worthy perfection in the oven…there’s a new sheriff in town. Kale chips? Yes, you are good but I’ve found something even better.
Seriously, have you TRIED Brussels Sprouts Chips?
Because if you haven’t, you really must. There is just something about this little Brassica from Belgium (as in Brussels in Belgium, yep, that’s where this mini cabbage head gets its name) that roasts up so perfectly…with a sorta veggie/sweet, sorta nutty rich crispiness that will astonish you. And if you don’t like brussels sprouts to begin with (why are you reading this? just wondering, must be my witty banter, ha) you will be completely floored.
I was so excited back in the day when I first learned that I could turn a vegetable into a crunchy salty snack good enough to not only take the place of but actually override my affection for potato chips. I jumped all over the whole kale chip thing, I mean come on now…a chip that I could eat with abandon? Like, an actual vegetable disguised as mindless junk food? I’ll sign up for that, even without my attorney present.
Obviously the rest of the world caught on to the whole vegetable chip situation and now you can easily find all sorts of crunchified horticulture in pretty much every grocery store from the trendy-cool health food “shoppe” on the corner right down to the 7-11 over there off the freeway.
So why bother with these guys when you can just buy a bag and be done with it?
W e e e e e e l l, have you ever seen a bag of brussels sprouts chips? Me either. And here’s the hard truth. They are kind of a pain. I will just put it out there right now. Extrapolating the little leaves off of that itty-bitty cabbage head is no mean feat I can tell you that. So just know that before going in. However:
No guts no glory.
Let’s do this.
Make sure you thoroughly wash your BS (unfortunate acronym) and get them dry. Working one sprout at a time, cut off the stem portion up to about a half of an inch. The bigger, thicker leaves will instantly fall off, and this is the start of what you want to save for your chips.
Keep peeling back and pulling off leaves until the bud is just too tight to continue (and you begin to understand the true meaning of the initials b.s.). Save all of the leftover brussels innards; just stick ’em in a zip lock and store them in the fridge…I will show you what to do with these later. Gather up all of your loose leaves and spread them out on a large baking sheet.
Keep in mind that they will shrink by about half. Yes they will. Not fair, I know.
But now you are on easy street, my friend. Drizzle these little lovelies liberally with olive oil and spin ’em around to get everybody nicely coated. Use your hands, don’t be a baby. Sprinkle your glistening cruciferoids (I made that word up, can you tell?) with some kosher salt and into a 365° oven (top rack, thank you) they go.
After 7 minutes, give them a stir. Back into the oven for 5 minutes.
After five more minutes stir them again. Give them 3 more minutes, toss ’em around again. Then turn off the oven, and place them back in, preferably on the bottom rack for now.
For approximately ten more minutes or so peek on in there once or twice and check to make sure they are hanging in there with you, give ’em a stir as you do. Be diligent. The rewards are great….
Because its crunch time.
These guys are just so dang tasty that you will be fighting over every last scrap on the baking sheet (or is it just me who gets so aggressive?). Just as good for you as kale, you will be high fiving yourself for a long time after you make (and consume) a batch.
But…hey…you still have bits of brussels sprouts innards leftover in the fridge. What the heck to do with those?
Amaze yourself again, that’s what. Chop them up into little shreds (if you haven’t already) and into a hot pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil they go. Go in with a healthy pinch of salt and stir ’em around over a medium high heat for about 7 minutes. If they seem to get too dry as you go hit them up with a drizzle more oil. Once they feel fork tender and are looking all browned and lovely throw in a handful of roughly chopped almonds and toss that around for another minute and – DONE! and YUM. I eat this stuff for breakfast, no lie, but they make an awesome side dish to just about anything.
Long live the Benevolent Brussels Sprout. (Eat enough of ’em and you will too.)
Only YOU can decide how much you want of this good thing. Quantities vary depending on how many sprouts you want to strip, and remember they shrink down A LOT. I used about 15 large sprouts, ended up with about two cups of chips………which was perfect for a snack attack, but never enough. Man these things are good……….let your patience be your guide.
- 15-20 large brussels sprouts, washed and dried
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- leftover brussels sprout insides, chopped
- Olive oil
- Handful of roughly chopped almonds
- Kosher salt to taste
- Preheat your oven to 365°
- Remove the outer leaves of your sprouts, up until that little mini cabbage head is too tight to bother. You may need to keep cutting up the stem as you go to make it a little easier. Save the extracted leaves on a large baking sheet and save the remainder of the sprout (but not the stem, yuk) in a little zip lock baggie in the fridge until you are ready to make the stir fry at a later date.
- Drizzle the leaves generously with olive oil, tossing with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Into the oven this goes, top shelf, for 7 minutes.
- Stir the sprouts around and back into the oven for 5 minutes.
- Stir again, and place back into the oven for 3 minutes. After the 3 minute mark, turn the oven off and move the pan to the bottom rack of the oven. Continue stirring and checking on the sprouts every few minutes until they are browned and almost burnt...but not burnt, and crunchy, up to ten minutes depending on your oven. They will get even crispier as they cool.
- Enjoy right then and there!!!!!!
- Don't waste the rest of those little sprouts you worked so hard to strip! Thinly slice them up. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil to a medium high heat and toss in the shredded sprouts, flipping and stirring until they get nice and browed and tender, about 7 minutes. Add kosher salt to taste, and if the pan seems to get dry drizzle in a little more oil as you go. At the last minute of cook time, toss in a handful of (totally optional but delish) roughly chopped almonds. Toss these through for about a minute. Serve up as a side dish, or a perfect breakfast dish, with or without eggs.
- Yes, I am serious!
- Good food is good any time of the day.