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The Brussels Sprout, Redefined

July 31, 2012

Are you one of the millions of Americans who has not discovered the beauty of Brussels sprouts? Don’t be ashamed if you are, I must admit I was also part of that group until recently.

I have a theory that the root of this problem, like most problems adults face is rooted in childhood trauma- who didn’t have a scarring experience with mushy, bitter Brussels sprouts when they were a kid? I’m sure the scientists out there will point out that the likely reason we didn’t like this delectable vegetable as children is because of its strong bitterness. Evolution has taught us that most bitter-tasting things are bad and probably poisonous, just as sweet things are good and chock full of important energy-filled sugar. Well, it’s time to take our first steps towards embracing this beautiful tiny cabbage!

Brussels sprouts can be cooked using a variety of methods; though frying and roasting these little treats are my methods du jour. Dredging the Brussels sprouts in a light tempura-like batter is an amazing and surprising way to cook them, while you counter the health benefits of eating vegetables you gain so much in texture and flavor. While this may seem slightly indulgent, dipping these fried suckers in a lemon aioli is 7th heaven, trust me. If you’re not Paula Deen and don’t have your Mac-daddy deep fryer at the ready roasting the Brussels sprouts is the next best thing. It takes very little prep and if you do it right you get tender hearts and crispy leaves: make sure you cut them in half, trim off the root end (it a little tough, and not that great to eat) and toss them in good olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Roasting doesn’t take long, and if you’re feeling super gourmet finish with a drizzle of truffle oil. Give Brussels sprouts another chance and you’ll forget those awful childhood memories.

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