Brussels sprouts. Love them? Hate them? I am firmly in the love category and roasted Brussels sprouts appear at our dinner table time and time again when these little baby cabbages are in season.
Brussels sprouts are often paired with bacon for that hint of smokiness, which helps to counteract the slightly bitter taste of this veggie. Instead of adding some type of meatless bacon, today’s recipe makes use of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Chipotle peppers have a distinct smoky flavor (as well as some heat!) and really help to infuse the sprouts with that desired smokiness.
I tend to always roast Brussels sprouts with a hint of sweetness, since that also helps to balance out their flavor. Maple syrup is used in combination with the minced chipotle peppers here, giving these roasted sprouts a fantastic sweet and spicy flavor.
When preparing the Brussels sprouts, you want to cut them so that they are all about the same size, so they roast evenly in the oven. If you have any that are really large, you’ll want to quarter them instead of just slicing in half. Similarly, if you have any that are really small, just trim off the end and leave them whole.
Additionally, don’t be tempted to skip the step of whisking together the olive oil, maple syrup and minced chipotle peppers. This process helps evenly distribute the minced peppers among the sprouts, so you don’t wind up with clumps of intense heat.
Of course, feel free to adjust the amount of chipotle pepper, depending on your desired level of spiciness. As written, the Brussels sprouts have a bit of kick but are not overly hot. A little bit goes a long way with chipotle peppers, so go slowly if you choose to add more!
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