Monday, March 7, 2011

Green Leafy Vegetable: #9 Brussel Sprouts

Dan told me once--that Brussel Sprouts were "evil" because you have to cut a cross into them when you cook them. Pish posh! I love Sprouts (though I admit that they are weird to watch grow). Not only are Brussel Sprouts one of the good guys, they are delicious and you don't have to carve a crucifix into any part of the Sprout for even cooking (but if you must--please feel free to carve into your own head--it'll be a lovely addition, I'm sure). There's also no need to boil the hell of out of Brussel Sprouts, because once over-boiled Brussel Sprouts lose vitamins, create that sulphurous smell and turn into yellow mush. 

I grew up on Brussel Sprouts--and I eat them with regularity to this day. I give credit to my Mom--she always serves Sprouts fork tender with a beautiful dark green color. There's no jazz- just simple flavors.

Mom's Brussel Sprout Recipe


1 lb of whole Brussel Sprouts trimmed (ends cut off) (If you halve the Sprouts before boiling--you can knock off 1 minute or two of cooking time.)
1 inch thick piece of sliced fresh ginger 
Salt to taste


Bring water to boil with salt, ginger and a drab of cooking oil (it doesn't matter how much water you use--because Sprouts will float--but I guess I have to write something--so, how about enough water so that all the Sprouts have contact with the water). Add Sprouts to boiling mixture. Cook for 4 minutes or until color turns dark green. Drain. Salt as desired.

If you want to try out some new recipes--this month's Cooking Light Magazine features several Brussel Sprout recipes that include: 

Sauteed Brussel Sprouts with 
There are also many different kinds of recipes on

Last night I tried out a new Brussel Sprout recipe- Crispy Topped Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower Gratin

Brussel Sprout and Cauliflower Gratin

4 cups or 1lb of Cauliflower florets
4 cups trimmed and quartered Brussel Sprouts
1.1 ounces or 1/4 cup of all purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups of 1% Milk
2/3 cup of Half and Half
3/4 tbs Salt
1/4 tbs Black Pepper
1/8 tbs fresh ground Nutmeg
4 slices of Bacon
2 cups chopped Sweet Onion
3 Garlic minced cloves
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese 
1/4 cup Panko crumbs


Preheat oven to 375F. Meanwhile, cook Sprouts and Cauliflower in boiling water for 2 minutes then drain.  Combine flour, milk, and next 4 ingredients (to nutmeg) in a bowl. Whisk together. Heat wok over medium heat. Add bacon and stir until begins to brown. Add in onion and garlic--cook for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and bring to simmer. Cook until thick--stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add Sprouts and Cauliflower and mix to cover. 

Coat baking dish with cooking sprat and add vegetable mixture. Cover dish with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven.

Preheat Broiler to high. Remove foil from dish. Combine breadcrumbs and cheese. Sprinkle over vegetables. Broil 5 inches from heat for 4 minutes or until browned. Let stand before serving.

Overall, I found this recipe to be ok. It's not as rich as my favorite Gratin, but that's the price you pay for 148 calories per serving. All things considered, I don't need to be tricked or enticed to eat these greens--so, I'm going to stick with basic flavors form now on. Mom's recipe it is.

>>Try Brussel Sprouts with Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

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