Monday, March 5, 2018

5/31: Hand Over the Sprouts

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.


  1. Hooray for brussels sprouts! I recently began roasting or sauteing them with bacon. Yum, yum, extra yum! I will try your roasting recipe for these "roly-poly" veggies. :)

  2. I love them roasted or sauteed until caramelized. I also have a great brussels sprout slaw recipe.

  3. My sister and my husband LOVE brussels sprouts. I like them, especially roasted. My brother and I had a pact with peas and carrots- he got the carrots and I got the peas..

  4. Yes! Brussel sprouts are AMAZEBALLS. I love them so much! I am totally trying these ideas, and here's one for you: Roast them with red grapes! Olive oil, salt and pepper, roast them. Add pecans for the last ten minutes of roasting, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar when they come out of the oven. I shred a little Kerrygold Dubliner cheese on top. It is to die for!

    1. That sounds EPIC. I'm going to try that ASAP!

  5. This is delightful! I love the variety of sentences and the strong imagery. And I want to come to your house for dinner!

  6. I like brussel sprouts, too!! I will have to try your recipes. I like sauteing mine with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, craisins, nuts and feta--delicious!!

  7. Hmm...I have honestly never had brussel sprouts before! The way you describe them actually makes me interested in trying them! I wonder if I could get my kids to eat them? Probably more likely to get them to try than my hubby. ;)

  8. Love love love your roly-poly vegetable line...such powerful imagery!
    P.S. I love me some brussel sprouts, too!

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  10. Oops! I didn't mean to delete my comment. Here it is:
    I am a former brussel sprout hater. But now I find them just as appealing as you do. There is a restaurant by my house that serves flash fried brussel sprouts with house-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, lemon, and toasted almonds. I am sure they are terrible for you but they are truly amazing. Sometimes I dream about them. Your post made me want to make some for dinner tonight!

  11. I have tried brussels sprouts once, and while I can't say I enjoyed them (mostly because my not-your-husband brother and I were trying to eat an entire package of them), seeing your recipes makes me hopeful that I may give them a chance again. Someday.