Tuesday, January 6, 2009

At Market...Brussels Sprouts

Growing up, I never tasted a brussels sprout. My mom really doesn't have much of a taste for vegetables, and so even though she served them often for the rest of her family, we didn't eat a huge variety; broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, and salad were about all we ever had. Not that I blame her because I think that she was tainted by her mother's overcooking of them, which can make most things taste bad, by any account. So it wasn't until I had a kitchen of my own, that I began to branch out and try to cook things like asparagus, peas, and yes, brussels sprouts.

I think that brussels sprouts are so adorable. They are like miniature cabbages that grow in spiral rows up long stalks. And when cut open, they have layer upon layer of tightly packed, curly leaves. They are indeed, related to cabbages and broccoli and all the other members of the cruciferous family, and like their cousins, they are extraordinarily healthy, and extraordinarily delicious.

My favorite way to prepare them is to slice them thinly, then saute them in a touch of butter. But I also love to roast them at high heat in my oven, tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. They are so very small, they don't take long to cook at all.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

Wash brussels sprouts and remove any damaged outer leaves. Cut off the stem end, then slice them thinly top to bottom, about 3-4 slices per brussels sprout. Heat butter or olive oil (about 1 T)in a pan over medium high heat. Add brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes, or until some leaves begin to turn golden brown and they are as tender as you like (I like them pretty crisp). Taste for seasoning and serve.

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