Brussels Sprouts: Three Ways
If there’s any one group of vegetables deserving praise, it’s the cruciferous family, which includes Brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, Swiss chard, kale, rutabagas and turnips. All these vegetables bear four-petal flowers that resemble the shape of a cross. Tasty and versatile, they pack a serious punch nutritionally, and best of all, they really shine this time of year. Crucifers are rich in antioxidants, a great source of fiber and full of vitamins such as A and C. Research increasingly suggests these vegetables may be valuable allies in the fight against many cancers.
For those of us who love the piquancy of bitter flavors, Brussels sprouts are a tremendous pleasure. Roasted or sautéed, paired with bacon or butter, these tiny cabbage-like vegetables – probably developed in 15th-century Belgium – add a sophisticated note to the menu. If you decide to sauté, blanch first and then introduce them to the skillet; blanching produces a milder flavor. Currently, Brussels sprouts are having a moment – here are three easy ways to incorporate them into meal plans this season:
As a Salad
Quarter unpeeled redskin potatoes and simmer for 2 minutes before adding whole Brussels sprouts. Simmer an additional 8 minutes, then drain and toss with chopped ham, minced green onion and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
As a Pasta Dish
Roast halved Brussels sprouts, quartered small onions, and halved carrots at 375° for 30 minutes. Toss with just-cooked pasta, a splash of balsamic vinegar and crumbled feta cheese.
As a Gratin
Simmer 10 whole Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes, then coarsely chop and mix with 3/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and 1 clove of minced garlic. Gently press into a greased 9-inch glass pie plate, sprinkle additional Parmesan on top, and bake at 350° for 35 minutes or until top is brown and bubbly.