In autumn and winter, this recipe is perfect with turkey or chicken as a delicious, fragrant side. In the warmer weather, we like to make this the main dish because it’s light yet flavorful. Once leftover, it can be eaten cold, too!
The Brussels sprout is also one of the healthiest green leafy vegetables you can eat. Brussels sprouts are loaded with antioxidants and an integral part of an anti-inflammatory diet.
Where did they get their name?
The Brussels sprout, as you could guess, was cultivated in Brussels, Belgium.
Brussels sprouts nutritional facts
Brussels sprouts are excellent sources of vitamin K and vitamin C. They are also a good source of folate, manganese, B6, B1, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fiber. It’s a nutrient powerhouse. Harvests season for Brussels is typically right after summer’s end, from September to March. So they will be at their freshest during this time.
The Brussels sprout is a member of the Brassica oleracea species, alongside broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale. And, along with broccoli and other members of this family, these sprouts contain sulforaphane, which has been researched for possible anticancer properties.
Interesting ways to use Brussels sprouts
The first recipe that included Brussels sprouts was believed to be written in the 1700s, and instructs readers to boil extensively and then saute in butter. Maybe this is where the Brussels sprout’s bad reputation came from...? Until relatively recently in the food world, most people who ate them would boil them, almost always resulting in overcooking and a sulfur-like aroma. We have come quite a long way since then.
Like most other vegetables, the best way to get the maximum nutrition is in eating Brussels sprouts raw. It’s not exactly pleasurable to pop them into your mouth as a snack, but there are a lot of ways to eat these raw. You can slice them thinly and use them in a salad mix, or try separating the leaves and dipping them in hummus or another one of your favorite dips. You can also go for a very quick cook, like tossing the leaves in at the very end of a stir-fry or in a pasta dish. You can also pickle them raw! Then, you get the benefits of eating fermented foods, too. They’ll stay crunchy and packed with flavor. Try pickling with mustard seed, pepper, and dill.
But, you still get tons of Brussels sprouts’ benefits when you cook them! Be very careful not to overcook. Not only does this deplete the vegetable of most of its nutrients, but it also will be mushy and appetizing--not to mention it’ll stink up your kitchen, too. To ensure an even cook, choose sprouts of the same size. If they’re small, you can cook them whole, but if they’re larger, you can halve or quarter them. One of the tastiest ways to cook Brussels sprouts is to simply roast in a high-temperature oven with oil, salt, and pepper until fork-tender. This way, you maintain the texture and flavor while adding a nice roasty, earthy flavor.
This mouthwatering Brussels sprouts recipe comes courtesy of our friends at Botticelli Foods in Hauppauge, NY.
- 1 pound brussels sprouts (remove the stems and halved)
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup barley
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & pepper
- Follow the directions on the barley package.
- Heat skillet with extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
- Season Brussels sprouts with salt & pepper.
- Add in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup and combine with dried cranberries in the skillet.
- Cook for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place barley, sprouts, and cranberries in a bowl.
- Add pecans to the bowl and toss.
- Top with Gorgonzola and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Botticelli Foods; Serves 4-5
We recommend Botticelli Foods Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar