Don’t wrinkle your nose. Brussels sprouts are good for you, and if they’re cooked properly, they even taste good. The problem is that Brussels sprouts are often boiled to death, and nothing that’s boiled to death tastes good unless it’s a lobster. When they’re cooked the right way, even people who absolutely hate cabbage — and a Brussels sprout is a mini-cabbage — find them irresistible.
Unlike a lot of foodstuffs named after places, Brussels sprouts seem to have really originated in the city of Brussels in Belgium. It’s a cool season crop that can stand some frosts and light freezes. As a matter of fact, people who grow Brussels sprouts don’t harvest the little buds until there are at lest two frosts, because frost makes the sprouts taste better. Some people pick the sprouts when they’re about the size of marbles, but other people pull out the whole plant and put it in a root cellar.
Brussels sprouts are rich in carbohydrates and dietary fiber and low in fat. They’re also high in protein and beta carotene, which is the usable form of Vitamin A. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of the B complex vitamins, especially thiamine, Vitamin B6 and folate. They provide over 102 percent recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C and 169 percent RDA of Vitamin K, a vitamin necessary for blood clotting. They’re also high in iron, manganese and phosphorous.
Yes, there really is a way you can cook Brussels sprouts that can bring out their sweet, nutty, crunchy flavor. First, pull off the bottom leaves, especially if they’re yellowed. Then, cut them in half if they’re little or in quarters if they’re big. Turn the oven up to 500 degrees F. Toss the Brussels sprouts with enough olive oil and water to cover, and place them cut side down on a cookie sheet. Cover up the sheet with foil and roast the sprouts in the hot oven for about 10 minutes. Then, take off the foil and cook for about 10 minutes longer or until the sprouts are nice and brown.
There are a few ways I LOVE to make brussels sprouts. How do you prepare yours?