Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Healthy Holiday Sides - Brussels Sprouts

First of all, I'm not sure if anyone eats Brussels sprouts at Christmas and Thanksgiving.  However, food magazines seem to think that we all eat Brussels sprouts during the holidays.  I am actually quite fond of Brussels sprouts. But after testing a few Brussels sprouts recipes for this blog, I don't want them for the holidays.  If you haven't had your fill of Brussels sprouts yet, give them a try during the holidays. 

Brussels sprouts belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables.  Other members of the cruciferous family include collards, kale, turnip, broccoli, and kohlrabi.  These vegetables tend to be slightly bitter.  You may have to try a few preparation methods before you convince your children to try them. 

Recently, scientists have been touting the benefits of cruciferous vegetables.  These vegetables contain a compound called isothiocyanates which may help prevent certain forms of cancer.  And that is good news.  So this holiday season make sure there is at least one cruciferous vegetable on the table.

I found this recipe for Not Your Mama's Brussels Sprouts in the book, A New Turn in the South, by Hugh Acheson.  I really like the book.  For a Southern girl, turned sorta Midwesterner, that's a compliment.  The Brussels sprouts are parboiled for about 1 to 2 minutes and then dipped in cold water.  They are then briefly sautéed in butter and olive oil.  If you want a little extra zip, add red pepper flakes.

Not Your Mama's Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6.


1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
½ Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional


1.  Wash Brussels sprouts and slice off about ¼-inch on the stem end (It's dirty).  Slice Brussels sprouts in about ¼-inch slices.  Set aside.

2.  Bring 2 quarts of water to boil over high heat.  Add ¾ teaspoon salt.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook for about 2 minutes.  Remove and immediately dump into ice bath.  Drain water.

3.  In a 12-inch skillet heat the olive oil and butter until it is almost smoking.  Add Brussel sprouts and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and vinegar.  Serve immediately.

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