Brussels sprouts are chock-full of vitamins C and K as well as folate, fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants. When picked and prepared correctly, these hardy little orbs can be downright delicious. Think you don't like Brussels sprouts? Learn to love them with these tasty recipes that will have you and your family clamoring for more.
Choosing the best Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts are available fresh year-round; however, they're best from autumn to early spring. When choosing Brussels sprouts, look for those that are smaller in size, firm and dense. They should have bright-green leaves, no yellow or brown spots and no holes in them. You should pick Brussels sprouts of similar size so they'll be easier to cook evenly.
Storing Brussels sprouts
When you get your Brussels sprouts home, don't trim or wash them. Store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. To freeze fresh Brussels sprouts, blanch them in boiling water for three to five minutes. They can be kept frozen for up to one year.
Before washing Brussels sprouts, trim any stems and yellow leaves from the outer surface. Wash Brussels sprouts under cold water or soak them for a few minutes. Before cooking, slice an "X" into the bottom of the sprouts to ensure even cooking.
Cooking tips for Brussels sprouts
Before you mix Brussels sprouts into a dish, you should blanch to refresh them. To do this, simply boil them in water for three to five minutes until almost fully cooked, then dunk them in an ice-water bath. The ice-water bath halts the cooking and helps the Brussels sprouts stay bright green. Be sure not to overcook them or these hardy little green gems will become mushy and tasteless and lose most of their nutritional value. Check out these great recipes even the pickiest eater will love.
Maple-glazed Brussels sprouts
Serves 4 - 6
1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, blanched with bottoms trimmed, halved
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
To make the glaze, combine soy sauce, mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
Saute the onion and pepper in oil in a skillet for 5 minutes. Mix in the Brussels sprouts and saute for 4 minutes.
Pour the glaze over the Brussels sprouts and cook until coated and glaze is thick, about 2 minutes.
Brussels sprouts souffle recipe
Serves 4 - 6
10 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts, blanched (instructions above) and diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon grated onion
4 eggs, separated
1 cup goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a large pot, combine butter, flour, salt and pepper. Mix in milk and the onion, then stir it until thick.
Whisk egg yolks and mix them into the warm butter mixture. Stir in the cheese and cook for 1 minute, stirring continually. Mix the sprouts into the mixture and remove them from the heat.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, and gently fold them into mixture.
Pour the mixture into a 2-quart souffle dish and bake, undisturbed, for 1-1/2 hours. Serve right away.
Parmesan-crusted Brussels sprouts recipe
24 small Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
Fine-grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Slice Brussels sprouts in half and toss with olive oil. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lay the Brussels sprouts in the pan, flat-side-down in one layer in the skillet. Sprinkle with salt and cook for 5 minutes, covered, until just browned and tender.
Take the lid off the pan and continue cooking over high heat until the bottoms are brown and caramelized. Toss in the pan to brown the round side. Season with salt and pepper and place it in a serving bowl to toss with cheese.