Brussels Sprouts

Yes, they actually did originate in Brussels, thus the name. In German, they are called “rose cabbages” which seems closer to the truth somehow. Brussels sprouts are related to cabbage, and are an excellent source of vitamins C, K, and beta-carotene.

My favorite way to prepare these is simply pan-roasted. Clean them up, put them in a hot pan with olive oil, cover the pan and let them go. The trick here is not to do too much. Shake the pan very occasionally to make sure they cook on all sides. Depending on how big your sprouts are, it will take anywhere from 12 minutes to 20 to cook through.

If you crave some more complicated fare, you can always try adding bacon and sugar, which give immediate pleasure to almost all vegetables. The recipe below makes enough to serve the whole extended family for Thanksgiving. Obviously, you will want to modify it for a weeknight meal.

3 containers (10 ounces size) Brussels sprouts
3 slices bacon
1 medium onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup

In covered nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat 1 inch water to boiling over high heat. Meanwhile, trim tough ends and any yellow leaves from Brussels sprouts. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are just tender-crisp.

Meanwhile, cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces. Slice onion in half, then thinly slice crosswise.

Drain Brussels sprouts, then plunge into large bowl of ice water to stop cooking; drain thoroughly.

In same skillet, cook bacon, onion, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup over medium-high heat 7 to 8 minutes or until onion and bacon are browned, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, cut Brussels sprouts lengthwise into thin slices. Add Brussels sprouts to onion mixture in skillet; cook 6 to 7 minutes or until all liquid evaporates and Brussels sprouts are lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon syrup; cook 1 minute to heat through.

– Christiana Thomas