Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seasonal and savory Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are an acquired taste. Not everyone likes them perhaps for their somewhat bitter taste, but if they are cooked properly, these tiny little cabbages have a nutty and delicious flavor.

Brussels Sprouts are grown in northern Europe and the Belgians believe that they were brought into their country from Italy by the ancient Roman army. Apparently, French settlers in the state of Louisiana brought them to America for the first time in the 1800s. Most of the U.S. production of these vegetables takes place in California, although other producers include the Netherlands, England, Germany and Canada.

Despite the “bad rap” these little green cabbages get, give them another try and dispel the memory of eating them as a kid, after all, that is more than likely the image we remember and would rather forget.

Most importantly, they have nutrition that is off-the-charts amazing!  Brussels sprouts have Glucosinolates, which are phytonutrients (nutrients from plant material that aid in disease prevention and sustaining a healthy life) that have cancer-protective substances. Also contained in these veggies? Plenty of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Fiber, Vitamin D and even some protein.

When I think of Brussels sprouts, Fall season comes to mind. How about Thanksgiving? Let these veggies accompany that fabulous Turkey dinner!  When I make them, I roast them and only add a little kosher salt, pepper and a nice olive oil. I found that the Epicurious website has a recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caraway Seeds. (Caraway seeds, by the way, have a lot of fiber, minerals and other health benefits). The only thing I add to them once they are done and ready to serve is a little grating of fresh Parmesan Cheese. As far as a “Retro Recipe” for these, one that seemed interesting came from the Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Copyright, 1936 and it was called, “Brussels Sprouts Cockaigne”.

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