Hello to my favorite season for weather, clothes, and food! I had this amazing moment walking through New York City last week when the air had a snap to it that just made me know Fall had arrived, and my overwhelming glee in that moment hit me hard enough that I had real thoughts about just up and moving to the East Coast. Then I took a look around and reminded myself that it can't be Fall all year round and none of the cute, cobblestoned neighborhoods I was walking through would be my everyday reality (thank you, Brooklyn and humidity, for keeping me grounded).
Since I ultimately decided not to spontaneously move to NYC, I'll have to settle for a Fall of mild temperatures and blue sky for days. What a tragedy, right? The truth is, even though SF feels like Summer is just beginning, I can still make sure Fall is represented on my plate, and no food sings tales of Autumn to me quite like brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts are maybe one of my favorite foods, and they certainly give kale and collards a challenge for favorite vegetable. I guess I have a thing for brassicas? They are just so delicious, whether braised or sauteed or roasted or fried. Just promise not to boil them (but why would you commit such a crime with any vegetable?). One of my favorite things about brussels sprouts is that if you peel them apart and deep fry the leaves, you get something very close to potato chips, but with more flavor and the joy of being able to convince yourself they are a health food.
However, deep frying takes commitment and planning, and you likely don't have enough vegetable oil sitting in your pantry to be able to whip up some fried brussels sprouts chips as a snack whenever the craving strikes. Plus, there's that added problem of what happens when you rinse them and don't dry the water off well enough, and then you end up splatter painting your mother's kitchen ceiling with hot oil. Not that I know this from experience.
So, to head off any kitchen calamities or last minute runs to buy quarts of oil, I would just suggest oven frying them! Much like kale, brussels sprouts leaves crisp up wonderfully in a screaming hot oven, with just a slight coat of olive oil and a showering of sea salt. Finish with some fresh lemon zest and you've got a treat for yourself in no time, without any need for a spontaneous visit to the burn unit.
Oven Brussels Sprout Chips
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Separate leaves from the brussels sprouts (save cores for other use) and wash and dry thoroughly.
- On a large baking sheet, toss with the olive oil and sea salt. Bake the leaves for 12-15 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.
- When golden and crispy, remove from oven and season with pepper and lemon zest. Let sit on pan for about 5 minutes, to cool slightly. Serve immediately.