Brussel Sprouts...fear not!

December 13, 2007

I always wanted to like these diminutive cabbages as a child, but the moment I popped one in my mouth it invariably found its way right back onto the plate (or napkin). Pretty. I'm amazed at how many adults still hold this same aversion. I believe it's because for generations these little guys have just not been prepared properly. However, if done correctly the bitterness will disappear and the result will be healthy, buttery little beauties.

The first time I ventured back into the Brussel sprout world was about 10 years ago when I read an article promising (as I am) to deliver bitterless sprouts. The recipe (sorry, I can no longer recall who was the brave author) simply called for slicing them in half and double blanching. I've adapted through trial and error and here's what I do: blanch in pure water, dump, then finish off in a fresh bath of salted water. Cook until al dente and toss with a little butter and salt and pepper, or a little parmiggiano reggiano.

I've also roasted, braised and deglazed them. Then I found a lovely little recipe on Orangette, one of my new favorite food blogs, that called for hashed Brussel sprouts. Hashed, now why didn't I think of that?! I know it's been done before, and you all are probably thinking, "well, duh" but it just never occured to me to slice them up! I mean, they're so pretty, why would I have ever thought to spoil their beauty? But I think the hashing is just the out-of-the-box thinking that I need to be embracing. And I'm gonna go for it. Just watch me.