A Bounty of Brussels Sprouts

  • By Christine Newheart
  • 02 Dec, 2015

by Alana Sugar /whfoods.org

Fall brings to market a slew of cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. I’m lucky to love them all, but that’s not always the case for others. It seems cabbage is cool in salads and slaws, broccoli rocks with cheese sauce, kale is hip among the coolest of foodies, and cauliflower is the new “mashed potato” for the lo-carb crowd, but the bold and brawny beauty of the Brussels sprout has often been overlooked. (Have you seen those gorgeous Brussels sprouts stalks?)

Brussels sprouts reach their peak between September and mid-February, so now’s the time to partake in the bounty of Brussels sprouts. If you’ve shied away from Brussels sprouts in the past, I urge you to keep an open mind and be bold. Give them another try, but bear in mind a couple of things:

  • If they are over-cooked or burnt, canned, rotten or otherwise maimed, they are definitely a no-go. But when cooked right, oh my! They are really, really good!
  • They can be a bit bitter (as can many cruciferous veggies), and once cooked, they do have that special off-putting “aroma” so common to the crucifer. This comes from sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that make these veggies among the healthiest.

Brussels sprouts are right at home in many dishes, including omelets, salads, grain dishes and side dishes. They are complemented by aromatics such as onion, ginger, herbs and garlic. When shopping, purchase small, firm, compact Brussels sprouts. They should be green, not yellow or brown. If possible, choose similar sizes for more even cooking. If you’re not using them right away, store them in a sealed plastic bag for up to four days. Here are tips and recipes to help you enjoy the best of the brawny Brussels sprouts:  

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