The Farm Stand: How To Cook Brussels Sprouts

November 20, 2013 | By | Comments (0)
Photo by Jody Horton

Photo by Jody Horton

Welcome back to The Farm Stand, your weekly guide to seasonal Southern produce.

Today we’re talking about Brussels sprouts, the Rodney Dangerfield of cabbage varieties, if you will. Although these cruciferous cuties have plenty of haters, lately more of them are coming around, thanks in large part to our recent yet never-ending quest to put bacon on everything short of cardboard.

And while we won’t argue with you on the porkalicious powers of bacon, Brussels sprouts are delicious in their own right if prepared properly. Read on for the best ways to choose and prepare them before your Thanksgiving meal.

Brussels Basics

  • Where are all the baby pigeons? How do Brussels sprouts grow? These are questions we don’t trouble ourselves with often. But if you ever wondered, Brussels grow on stalks topped with a bunch of lettuce-like leaves, resembling something of a green palm tree. If you see sprouts still attached to their stalks at the farmers market, you should buy them as they’ll stay fresher longer. As for the pigeons, I can’t tell you.
  • If you can’t find stalks, look for separated sprouts that aren’t wilted around the edges and have some heft to them.
  • When storing sprouts, put them in your fridge in a plastic or perforated storage bag. Best case scenario, they will last for two weeks, but it’s best to buy them as close to when you’ll be cooking them as possible.
  • If your childhood memories are tainted by visions of rolling soggy, bitter sprouts around your plate and hoping against hope that they would vaporize before you had to choke them down, you’re not alone. The biggest culprit in bad Brussels is over cooking. To see the sweeter side of sprouts, remove the outer leaves and roast them.
  • If you just had an Oprah-style a-ha moment that Brussels sprouts are just baby cabbages, you’re now likely seeing the oceans of possibilities that await. Separate all the leaves and throw them on a salad. Cut them in half and saute them for some killer caramelizing action.

What To Make

Try these Southern Living recipes for this Thanksgiving and beyond.


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