December 7, 2010

Brussels Sprouts : Everyone’s (New) Favorite

I have been surprised how prevalent Brussels sprouts are in this new era, and how popular they are among our friends. Maria and her boyfriend Kyler seem to be eating them and buying them all of the time. I have served them a number of times when we’ve had guests this fall, and they always seem happy to eat them. These little cabbage-like things seem to have a constant spot in our refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. This is surprising; as a child, I loathed them and avoided them at all costs. But as an adult, I have found them to be quite pleasant, to the mouth and to the eye.

For a thanksgiving gathering I attended, I was asked to bring a vegetable dish, so naturally, I roasted some carrots and Brussels sprouts. I was pleased to find the sprouts for sale still on the stalk, which is always a sight to behold. Upon arrival at the gathering, someone excitedly exclaimed, “Elizabeth, did you bring Brussels sprouts?” And once again, I found myself slightly dumbfounded at the excitement around Brussel sprouts.

Roasting these vegetables is the way to go; it really brings out the flavor. Ina Garten, author of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, is the one who taught me to roast these veggies. Here is her recipe:

* 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
* 3 tablespoons good olive oil
* 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt, and serve immediately.

As you can see from my photo, I chose to cut the sprouts into quarters to speed up the roasting process.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful photos, raw and cooked. I am curious about how the sprouts became associated with Brussels. And whether they are actually called Brussel or Brussels sprouts. Personally, I am still nestled in my childhood, looking askance at these oft-scorned sprouts. But perhaps my palate can widen a bit to make room for a sampling one of these days.


Love our veggies?