And now, an ode to the unsung hero of vegetables.
Often vilified as inedible and named as the weapon wielded by particularly punitive parents bent on making their children miserable, brussels sprouts are one of those things that seem to unify people in mutual hatred. At best, their presence on the dinner table elicits thinly-veiled sighs of disappointment. At worst, they cause outright disgust.
Few want to give these leafy baby cabbages a chance. They call them "disgusting" and "smelly" and "hard to chew." They take one look at their intimidating whorls and layers and pronounce them as only fit for a garbage disposal.
Not me. When I see brussels sprouts, my mind goes places. To sweet chili sauce and soy sauce mixed together and smothered all over those roly-poly vegetables and roasted at 425 for 20 minutes until their outer leaves have that perfectly caramelized crunch.
To a squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of olive oil, a fine coating of garlic, salt and pepper.
To finely-shredded leaves combined with wheat pasta, spicy Italian sausage, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Really, the possibilities are endless when you've got such a wonderfully tasty subject to work with.
So you can have your broccoli. I won't deny you your cauliflower, your kale or your asparagus. But as for me, I'll be over here munching on my brussels sprouts...and before you hide yours in your napkin or try to feed them to the family dog, hand 'em over. I'll eat yours too.