Lean, green fighting machine
No, I’m not talking about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The heroes on the half-shell probably wouldn’t appreciate today’s recipe, although they might be willing to try it on pizza (with M&M’s, Gruyère, and cashews, perhaps).
What else is green and fights bad guys?
Brussels sprouts, of course!
Hey, get back here!
Brussels sprouts may have gotten a bad rap at the dinner table, but prepared properly they’re a delicious nutritional powerhouse. These little green buds belong to the cabbage family, and are high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. They also contain sulforaphane, which is believed to have anticancer properties. It’s important not to cook all the nutrients out of the sprouts, but overcooking is also responsible for the sulfurous odor and gray, mushy appearance that most people associate with this notorious V-E-G. Luckily, sautéing or roasting yields tender, vividly green orbs that are oddly addictive when caramelized.
Brussels sprouts are best in the cold weather months, so consider including them in your holiday feast. If you can find the sprouts on the stalk at a local farmer’s market, so much the better. The sprouts will be fresher, and roasting them on the stalk makes for a dramatic presentation.
My parents never inflicted Brussels sprouts on us. There was still something satisfying about convincing my dad (who grew up in the era of boiled vegetables) to try three bites, or what my mom calls a “no, thank you” portion. Several “no, thank yous” later, he was a Brussels sprouts convert.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Based on a recipe from Trader Joe’s
1 stalk Brussels sprouts, rinsed, outer leaves trimmed
2 Tb olive oil
1/4 c. maple syrup
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper