Valley Bounty: Brussels Sprouts

I love Brussels sprouts. I am unapologetic about this. They look like alien eggs (which is very cool, of course), they’re delicious when roasted or fried, and they’re a nutritionally and psychologically much needed source of green in the least green part of the year. The fact that they have found themselves in the pantheon of foods that little kids despise is unfortunate enough, let alone the fact that, for many among us, this prejudice persists well into adulthood. Do not fear this odd little Belgian bud; give it a spot on your plate this winter and see what it has to offer.

Increasingly, Brussels sprouts are available on the stalk, which tend to be fresher, as well as loose, which are easier to deal with. The traditional way to prepare them is boiling, but I don’t think that really plays to the sprout’s strengths (and recent research suggests it might also reduce its nutrient content). Instead, try cutting the sprouts in half (or quarters if they’re on the larger side), tossing them in olive oil, salt, and chili powder, and roasting in the oven until they just start to blacken. Brussels sprouts also hold up very well to frying, gaining a crispy texture and a light nutty flavor without getting mushy.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)