Most people who dislike Brussels Sprouts have probably only tasted ones that were severely overcooked, or were too old when prepared. Don't keep them (the sprouts) more than a week, and make sure you blanch/boil them in plenty of water, just until a fork pierces them (the people) smoothly. These are good tips for all cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts will all develop a nasty sulfurous aroma if abused.
Brussels Sprouts can also be cut in half, brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt, and grilled or roasted. The outer "leaves" may need to be peeled off.

Brussels Sprouts at their best are not mushy, but shapely and tender. They have a mild taste, not sharp or sour. They taste like slightly sweet cabbage, but if you haven't had good brussels sprouts you probably also haven't had good cabbage.

Once you've enjoyed brussels sprouts, you can observe the revulsion on others' faces and say incredulously, "how can you not like brussels sprouts? It's like putting an entire cabbage in your mouth at once!"
This, to me, is reason enough to make the effort.

Brussels sprouts are fresher on the stalk than loose.

Locally grown vegetables, in season, are a good bet. However, when you find Brussels sprouts on the stalk, they're probably going to be tasty, wherever they came from. If not on the stalk, check that they are very firm.

Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, and considered to be healthy food, but they might not taste as good overcooked. Do not make them mushy.

There are various ways to cook Brussels sprouts. The cooked sprouts can retain crispness and not be mushy. It's possible to steam them and get a good result. Boiling them in a pot may not be the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

There's a pan sauté approach for Brussels sprouts.

Prepare the sprouts by cutting off their bottoms, then rinse, and peel off a few leaves. Cut them in half, lengthwise, unless they're very small. Cook them sauté, in a pan, medium high, with a little oil, butter, salt and pepper. Start a kettle of water to boil, and put the sprouts in the heated pan. The medium high heat, and butter, should brown and glaze the sprouts a little. Be careful to watch at this stage, there's only a minute or so between browned and burnt. Now, turn over your Brussels sprouts, turn the heat down a notch, and add a little boiling water. Then wait a couple minutes and turn the heat down to low.

Cook on low for a few more minutes. If the pan gets dry, add a little boiling water. After a few minutes turn the sprouts over again. With the heat low, wait until the water boils away. Taste a sprout to see if it's done, and check the flavor and seasoning. The sprouts should still be slightly crisp, not mushy, and tasting good. Turn down the heat some more, they will stay OK for a few minutes while you finish preparing other things that will go well with the sprouts, maybe some steak, lamb chops, or liver and onions.

Brussel Sprouts meet Candied Ginger and Pecans

Hands down this is my favorite way to eat Brussel Sprouts - even non-believers like my husband have now been converted to the yummy goodness of these scrumptious green ball of leaves.

Ingredients

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Onions (I prefer purple to yellow or white) - finely chopped
  • grated ginger
  • Soy Sauce
  • Candied ginger - finely chopped
  • Candied pecans or walnuts
  • Preparation

    I like to cut the tips off the sprout, split them in half and lightly steam them for about 4 to 5 minutes. In the meanwhile, I grate a little ginger, chop up the onion and hum a little tune. I can't help myself with the singing - Brussel sprouts really do cheer me up.

    The Grand Scheme of Things

    As soon as the sprouts are lightly steamed, I plunge them in cold water to prevent them from over-cooking.

    In the meanwhile, I heat up a little oil in my beloved cast iron pan. My voice starts to hit the high notes as I introduce the onions, grated ginger and oil to each other. A splash of soy-sauce gets the ingredients really talking to each other. I wait a minute for them to get acquainted. When they're ready, the chopped candied ginger makes its welcome appearance. The dance begins and they swirl around each other for a bit.

    The music crescendos and they are so ready for the grand entrance of the Brussel Sprouts. Everyone crowds around the sprouts welcoming them into the mix. And then I add a sprinkle of nuts just as things are settling down a tad. I trill as I give them a whirl around their oiled cast iron dance floor and transfer them into an elegant serving dish.

    The Grand Finale

    I am so excited that I can barely hold my voice steady as I take a deep breath and announce: "Dinner's Served!"

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