Oh, sure you do.  You’ve probably just only had them boiled, and maybe covered in Cheez Whiz because your mom was trying to trick you into forgetting that they’re vegetables.  (Not that melted Cheez Whiz doesn’t have its place.)

The thing with vegetables is that just about all of them can be vastly improved with a toss of olive oil, some basic seasonings, and a roast at a high temperature until caramelized.  If there are any vegetables you think you don’t like, I encourage you to give them another whirl with this technique.  Even if they are tiny Belgian cabbages.

I prefer to start with small sprouts, as they tend to be younger and less bitter.  The diameter of this average representative is about one and three-quarters inches (that translates to “not very large” for our metric system friends).

Sprouts 1

Quarter them all.  Nobody escapes my mighty 8″ Wüsthof!  Then, toss them in a large bowl with a glug apiece of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and a hefty pinch apiece of kosher salt and red pepper flakes.

Whee!  Toss toss!  What fun!  Then, turn them out onto a foil-lined cookie sheet.  Don’t skip the foil; balsamic vinegar turns to tar once it bakes.  And who doesn’t love crumpling up the foil in a carefree fashion instead of washing dishes?

Sprouts 3

Into a 425° oven until they start to become fragrant from the next room (probably about 12 minutes).


Ooooh, look!  Some leaves fell off and are starting to get brown and crispy!  I CAN HAZ SNAK?


8 more minutes.  Mmmm.  Nice and brown on the outsides, and the green parts are wilted enough to be sweet and not bitter.  You don’t want black.  Black just plain tastes charred.

Sprouts 6
Hey, you think a little parmesan cheese might be good?  Uh, does this question even have more than one possible answer?  (See, your mom wasn’t entirely wrong about the magic of cheese when it comes to tricking you into eating your vegetables.)

Sprouts 7


Enjoy, but caveat coquor: Adorable and wee though they may be, these are cabbages, and the gastrointestinal results will be predictable.