As far as vegetables go, Brussels sprouts are pretty foreign to me. I was in for a little surprise when I picked up our latest CSA bag to find them on a stem like this! I looked at them and thought, “hmm…those kind of look like Brussels sprouts,” and just as I was coming to that conclusion, the gal handing me the produce said, “…and you also have Brussels sprouts this week.” I had never really thought about how Brussels sprouts grow, but for some reason I was pretty intrigued by the giant stalk of baby cabbages that appeared before me.
I really feel like this is one of the best benefits of joining a CSA for the first time. I have learned about the root of food. Getting it from the source, a local farmer, gives you the opportunity to not only TASTE the freshness but SEE it too!
Before I got started on cooking Brussels sprouts I wanted to learn more. University of Illinois Extension has a great webpage on gardening basics and they also have information on preparation. The recipe they included for Brussels sprouts had a mustard butter sauce which sounded yummy.
Braising is an excellent method for cooking Brussels sprouts. Braising refers to cooking food with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.1 pound (about 20) small, firm, bright green Brussels sprouts 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup water 2 TBSP unsalted butter or margarine 2 TBSP Dijon mustard Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring sprouts, water and salt to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Lower heat, cover and simmer. Shake pan once or twice during braising to redistribute sprouts.Check each head, peel off any loose or discolored leaves. Using a paring knife, cut an X through the core end of each head. Cut any large sprouts in half.
- Cook until just tender 8 to 10 minutes. Test by piercing with a knife tip. Drain well.
- Melt butter in a large skillet of medium heat. Whisk in mustard until smooth. Cook , stirring constantly until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Add sprouts to skillet, coating well with the butter mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 3 to 4.
Simply Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Preheat your oven to 400 °F. Roasting is a simple cooking method that brings out great flavors. It seems to work really well for root and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. Simply toss washed and trimmed Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil or vegetable oil and salt and pepper. Then roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender, stirring halfway through. They should get nice and golden brown and be a little crispy.
Oven Roasted Potatoes
Preheat your oven to 400 °F. Wash and slice your favorite potatoes into about one inch pieces. Then toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and freshly minced garlic. Feel free to add any herbs you like, such as rosemary, and grated Parmesan cheese for a little extra flavor. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. They should be fork tender and golden brown when finished.