The last few weeks at the local farmers market, in the Long Beach Marina near Whole Foods, Brussels sprouts have finally arrived. Sure many, many people hate Brussels sprouts. Many of those who claim to hate the little cabbages, love to eat them when they dine at my house. My secret is an easy two-step method; they can even be partially prepared ahead of time.
In a medium saucepan, add enough water to generously cover the sprouts, (without adding the sprouts yet), and bring to a boil.
Add the Brussels sprouts and two or three pinches of sea salt. The salt performs two tasks here, one is to season the vegetable and the other is to set the green color so that it doesn't leech out into the water. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cool water, set aside. Cook the Brussels sprouts until fork tender, just until they can be pierced with a knife, and then strain them into the ice water. This will stop them from cooking; they can be drained, dried off and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before continuing. If you're making the recipe all at the same time, don't plunge the sprouts into the ice water. Continue with the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread the Brussels sprouts onto a foil lined sheet pan, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned; remove and immediately toss with balsamic vinegar and a pat or two of butter, if desired. Garnish with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and serve at once; you may find you have 'Brussels sprouts converts'!
It's easy to store the Brussels sprouts, either on the stalk or in a bag; place the unwashed dry sprouts in the vegetable drawer for up to two weeks. Be sure to peel off any yellow or brown leaves before using. Brussels sprouts offer all the nutrients that cabbage or broccoli does, lots of fiber, vitamin C and A but you don't have to share that with anyone as long as they enjoy the dish.
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts
- sea salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated