Charred broccoli & Crunchy Brussel sprouts

Double post today for two of my favorite sides. Super easy to make, healthy and full of taste. I told you my cooking was easy, but these are really impossible to fail.

The broccoli will be lightly charred on the florets, still retaining their crunchiness. The Brussel sprouts will really bring out that nutty flavor you always wondered where it was. Crunchy outside, creamy inside. Try them as a side, or for a healthy vegan dinner.

Start turning the oven to max. I have a gas oven and a pizza stone I always leave inside it. That’s a little secret of mine. The pizza stone is a flat tile of refractory stone as big as your oven. It doesn’t only make home pizza amazing (recipe to come), it retains the heat and ensures your oven doesn’t have “cold zones”, evening-up the inside temperature and avoiding it to drop when you open the oven. I generally turn it to the max, broiler on, and let it go for good 30-45 minutes, until it’s very hot. Roughly 500F, or 260C for the rest of the world.

Prepare two pans for the oven with parchment paper, wash and tamp-dry the veggies.

Place the broccoli florets in the pan, making sure the stems are on the bottom. At this point, generously sprinkle them with EVOO, ground some fresh pepper on top and add sea salt. Done, they are ready for the oven.

Prepare the pan for the Brussel sprouts, add EVOO and evenly coat the parchment paper. Generously sprinkle the pan with sea salt and fresh grounded black pepper. I like the pepper to be quite coarse, to feel it with my teeth. We could say “al dente”…

DSC00701Wash the sprouts, remove the bottom woody part and cut them in half perpendicular to it. You should have two nice sections from each sprout. I find easier to do this operation with a small, sharp, knife.As you cut the sprouts, position them on the pan with the cut facing down. This is very important since will ensure the final, amazing crunchiness. Fill the pan with all the sprouts, generously sprinkle with EVOO (make sure each sprout gets its “dose” of goodness. Grind some fresh pepper on top and add sea salt, making sure they are evenly dusted. At this point, put them in the oven and wait for them to get charred. Generally 30min.

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