Hurray for Brussels Sprouts!
Brussels sprouts and I have come a long way. They used to be my most reviled vegetable and I have gone from a total hater to an absolute lover. I thought they were stinky (which if not cooked right, they are) and a very “strange” vegetable (I am not sure I ever came across them in Asia) that I had no idea how to cook. I finally figured out how to cook them and therein lay the key to overcoming my utter revulsion.
The best way seems to be to blast them in a hot oven (around 425F) for 25-30 minutes or so (till desired crispiness). Cut them into quarters and lay them on a sheet pan. The part of the vegetable that makes contact with the baking pan gets nice and crispy and the outer layers separate and peel off, becoming almost brussel-sprout-chips like. Someone needs to figure out a way to sell these chips in bagged form and they might see more success than potato chips. Mix with olive oil, butter and pepper before you roast. Salt them like french fries after you are done roasting – reduces mushiness factor. Making sure these mini cabbages are absolutely dry before you roast them helps enhance crispiness as well. Eat just like that, straight out of oven while crispy and crunchy. Mix in a simple salad or make a pasta dish with balsamic roasted red onions, roasted brussels sprouts, top with some crumbled goat cheese and possibly some toasted pecans. Perhaps a glass of red wine to accompany?
The information below is from Cooking Light and highlights the benefits of incorporating brussels sprouts into your diet.
Peak growing season: Although readily available virtually year-round, the peak season for brussels sprouts is from September to mid-February.
Health benefits: Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are full of phytonutrients (natural plant compounds), which may help protect against cancer. They’re also a good source of:
- Vitamins A and C, which help fight against such ailments as heart disease, cancer, and cataracts (one half cup of sprouts provides more than 80% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C)
- Potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and maybe even cholesterol
- Folate, which is necessary for normal tissue growth and may protect against cancer, heart disease and birth defects
- Iron, necessary for maintaining red blood cell count
- Fiber, which aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol
Here are some recipes to check out:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts – by Ina Garten
Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint - by David Chang – anything he does is good!
Bacon wrapped Brussels Sprouts – Genius!
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Walnuts – I am intrigued.
If you have any favorites or ideas, do share them below. I am thinking of a way to incorporate brussels sprouts into some of my Asian creations….