Generally, if you're a weirdo, you have to be told, and my peers have always provided me that service. But it was only after watching hours of "You Can't Do That on Television" in 4th grade that I finally understood that kids are supposed to hate vegetables--brussels sprouts, lima beans, and broccoli in particular.
And here I was, a juvenile mega-weirdo, asking for seconds of lima beans and broccoli at the school cafeteria. Brussels sprouts were few and far between in Hawaii, but I loved 'em, and thought of them as custom cabbages for little people.
I get where the dislike comes from: institution-style, freezer-burned, gray-cooked veggies made by ladies with hairnets and well-meaning biddies. But friend, when you're pushin' thirty and STILL making faces at your veggies, take a seat...WEIRDO. Your colon will thank me.
Brussels Sprouts FAQs:
- When choosing fresh ones in the market, look for bright green, tight little heads. (Don't buy the friggen frozen ones, they won't improve your opinion of 'em.)
- Brussels Sprouts season is from August to March.
- These little guys grow on big 'ol stalks, with dozens of sprouts per stalk.
- The sprout of yesteryear was probably more bitter; these days, farmers tend to deliberately cultivate sweeter varieties.
- No really, they're good for you: lots of folic acid, fiber, and Vitamins A, C, and K.
An original by An Effing Foodie
Inspired by an assistant at Wine Spectator, who shared her craving with me.
Serves 1-2 Herbivores, 2-3 Omnivores.
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1-2 TBSP. olive oil, butter, or bacon drippings
- 1 tub-thingy (10 oz.) fresh brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, cut in half
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 TBSP. Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
Bring a dry skillet to medium high heat. Pour in pine nuts and toast them, keeping them moving, for about 2 minutes. (DON'T walk away from these, they burn quickly.) Transfer pine nuts to a bowl, and set aside.
Return skillet to heat and add oil/butter/drippings. Add sprouts; stir to coat with fat. Saute for 3-4 minutes; moving them around a lot will break more leaves off, so let them sit to get some color, stirring only occasionally to prevent scorching.
When they've browned a bit, add the broth and the mustard and stir to combine. Allow the liquid to thicken into a sauce that coats the sprouts, 2-4 minutes. Stir in the toasted pine nuts and season with salt and pepper.
Remove to a bowl, and serve immediately. Great with pork chops, roasted chicken, and/or hard cider.