I had dinner with an old friend in Boston last spring and his burger came with a side of Brussels sprouts. They were soft, mealy and nearly devoid of flavor. This he told me and I tasted one to confirm. The server asked how everything was and I responded honestly: "The sprouts have been boiled into submission. No need for water to cook these." He told me the chef was brilliant and knew his stuff. I said, "How about you make a batch for him some time and ask what he thinks?" Then I explained.
Preheat the oven to 400. Take a pound or so. Rinse, cut the stem end off, shake off the excess water. Rub the bottom of a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Put the sprouts in and drizzle them with some more olive oil. Sprinkle them with kosher salt and pepper. Roast them for about 30-35 minutes depending on the oven. When they're ready a steak knife will slide right in and the sprout won't stick to it as you pull the knife out.
The secret is that this method employs dry heat. The insides will still soften up but rather than being immersed in flavor-leeching water they will become creamy on the inside but crisp and salty on the outside. Drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over them and serve them at the table in the cast iron on a wood cutting board or large trivet. (Kids like that--it's steamy and dramatic).
The best part is all the errant leaves that fall off when you're prepping them--definitely hang onto all of them and put them in too. They crisp up and become Brussels chips. Yum!