The Brussels sprout – not brussel sprout, as my wife thought – is a green leafy vegetable that is indeed in the cabbage family. It has recently gotten a lot more attention due to its health benefits, which include being an excellent source of source of antioxidants, such as vitamins C, E, and A, and effects on lowering cholesterol. In the US, they are grown and cultivated primarily in California. They grow in rows along a thick stalk. Although available year round, they are probably best to purchase during their peak growing season – Fall to Spring.
HOW TO PICK
Some stores sell them loose, but frequently they come bundled in pints with a sheet of plastic held on by a rubber band. I like to purchase them on the stalk; depending on the size of the stalk and time of year, this is one way to get a few more sprouts for the money. Plus, it’s fun to pluck the buds off. Select sprouts that are green and firm. Try to avoid yellowed or loose leaves. The leaves should be nice and compact.
There are several ways to prepare Brussels sprouts that are easy and delicious. You can roast them directly on the stalk, but it may be simpler to for those new to cooking the veggie to work with it by cutting the buds off the stalk. Once they are cut, they should be washed and any yellowed or loose leaves removed. Once cleaned, the sprouts can be boiled (which takes away some of the nutrients), stir-fried (which is my favorite), and/or oven roasted. I tend to cut the Brussels in half to help them cook evenly and quickly.
Here are two recipes using the exact same ingredient list. If you get a large stalk, try preparing half of the sprouts each way.
2 cups of washed Brussels sprouts, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh garlic (may use granulated, but see alternate directions below)
Pinch of sea salt (NOT Morton salt!!!)
Pepper to taste
(If using granulated garlic, only add after you put the sprouts into the hot pan.)
5. Saute for about 2 minutes; 3 minutes for larger sprouts.
Be sure not to overcook Brussels sprouts or burn the garlic as this can lead to bitterness. Overcooked sprouts turn gray and get soft.
7. Serve hot.
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place all ingredients into a large bowl and mix until olive oil coats all Brussels sprouts.
- Spread coated sprouts on to a cookie sheet or sheet pan.
- Place in oven and roast for 15 mins or until they start to become tender but still have a little crispness in the center.
- Remove from oven.
- Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon over the cooked sprouts and serve.
I love adding roasted sprouts to salads – can be added either hot or cold!!
Enjoy these recipes!
1/2 cup of Brussels sprouts cooked in olive oil only has 40 calories!!
Cost (variable depending on market):
$3-$6 per stalk (depending on size)
$2-$5 per pound when loose.