I remember it like yesterday…. My mother poured brussel sprouts out of a freezer bag and into a steamer. She piled up a short stack next to my mashed potatoes and chicken. I remember digging in- to everything except the sprouts. I tried to drown them in mashed potatoes, but it didn’t always hide the hideous flavor.
Well, here I am 25+ years later and loving sprouts! I decided to try them, as usual, after watching numerous chefs use them in cooking shows. The first day I tried them, my husband was traveling. I was looking for something new to try and they had fresh sprouts in the produce section. I decided to buy enough to try a couple different ways.
At home, I cut my sprouts in half, or quarters for larger ones, and tossed them all in olive oil, salt and pepper. I put half in the oven and the rest in a sauté pan on the stove top. They seemed to take much longer in the oven than most of the veggies I roast, so I’ve just been cooking them stove top style. Either way, they were super delicious. I couldn’t believe I was eating brussel sprouts and loving them! What’s more, when my hubby came home I fed them to him and HE loved them.
I am always looking for great veggies to add to my repertoire. We are steak and potatoes people, but I make sure we have a veggie on the side. Brussel Sprouts don’t cost a ton of money. They are simple to cooking don’t take a lot of time or seasoning. It’s also easier to find fresh sprouts in the produce section, which allows you to hand pick the ones you want. I can get a bunch of tiny ones or fewer super large ones. As someone who’s admittedly OCD I like picking my own vegetables and not relying on a bag, when feasible.
So, here’s how I make my brussel sprouts. They’re making a serious veggie come back, and I hope you take a risk and give them a chance.
1. Examine fresh brussel sprouts for any worm holes or rotting at the bottom. Cut off stem area and remove any leaves that are not good.
2. Cut small sprouts in half and large sprouts in quarters so they are all about the same size and can cook at the same time.
3. Put sprouts in a bowl. Drizzle with your favorite salt and pepper. I typically use kosher salt, but if you have sea salt, smoked sea salt, Fleur de Sel or any other kind, use it!
4. Drizzle a sauté pan with olive oil or spray a nonstick pan with olive oil flavored nonstick spray. You can also drizzle lightly with olive oil, but it’s already on the sprouts. Using a sauté pan is easy, but I like to use a grill pan. It makes great marks and is quick cleaning. Cook over medium heat.
5. Once you have a nice char on one side, regardless which type of pan you use, flip the sprouts. Cook on the other side. About 4-6 minutes per side. Remove and serve.
**Feel free to try these in the oven. Cut and season like above, and heat oven to 425 and roasting for about 15 minutes. Check and flip if not finished. Continue cooking until done. You can test them with a fork. They will still be sturdy, but able to pierce with a fork, just like carrots or broccoli or any other veggie you might roast.**
I absolutely love green veggies with steak. First I only did broccoli, then, I found asparagus and fell head over heels. I actually grill and eat asparagus, on average, 3 times a week. I’m kind of addicted. Now that I’ve found brussel sprouts, though, they’ve kind of become my favorite for steak. I like their sturdiness. I think they hold up well and provide a heartiness and stiffness as well as an earthiness that other veggies may lack once cooked. I also think their flavor is such that they allow the meat to shine. I’m not even going to get into the iron and vitamins they contain.
These are a tasty accompaniment to a beef or chicken or meaty fish. I really hope you give them a chance. Enjoy!