Mon Petit Choux...This French term of endearment literally translated means "My Little Cabbage." Although it is actually referring to a pastry, I like to think it is referring to the Brussels Sprout.
Cousin to larger cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower and kale, Brussels Sprouts first entered the European diet in the 16th century in, not surprisingly, the area around Brussels. From there they spread to England and France in the1800's and came to the US via the Mississippi Delta in the early 20th century.
Brussels sprouts are one of the better vegetable protein sources. Approximately 30 percent of their calories are from protein. Like broccoli and some other members of the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts contain something called sinigrin, a glucosinate that has been reported to prevent colon cancer. One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 60 calories, 1,122 IU of Vitamin A, 669 IU of beta carotene, and a 1/2 cup contains 80% of the RDA of Vitamin C. Wow!
Saturday morning we'll be getting in a new crop if these little cabbages from Hillside Farm, who have also been supplying us with the gorgeous broccoli and HUGE cauliflowers you've seen recently in the market.
Brussels Sprouts are one of those veggies that often get an undeserving frown from those whose only experience with them is a childhood memory of over boiled bitter mush. If you think you don't like them, I implore you to try one of the easy recipes below. One key to good Brussels sprouts are to buy them in season, while the weather is still cool - like now. In the heat, like many green veggies, they get bitter. The other key is to not over cook them. I do not recommend boiling them. They are amazing roasted or sliced and sauteed. Both cooking methods allow you to keep them a bit al dente, at which point I find them most delicious. Both the recipes below also pair them with nuts and garlic - a winning combination on a cool evening if ever there was one!
From Real Simple
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pecans
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- kosher salt and black pepper
- Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down.
- Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.