Big on Brussels Sprouts

Most of us probably hated brussels sprouts as kids. They looked funny, like small unhappy green cabbages (and who liked cabbage?), with a bitter taste. What kid wants to eat mini bitter cabbage?

Like many other adults, my opinion of brussels sprouts has done a complete one-eighty, and they now rank as one of my favorite vegetables. If they are an acquired taste, I have certainly acquired it. Today, they are widely appreciated, in part because they can be made in so many ways—boiled, steamed, oven roasted, braised, grilled and even enjoyed raw.

They are also winners because of their terrific health benefits, high in vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as a good source of vitamin A, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B6, manganese, and potassium.

What can you do with brussels sprouts?

Oven-Roasted: There are few sides as tasty as oven roasted brussels sprouts. Just spread oil on a cookie sheet or Pyrex dish, and add brussels sprouts, whole or halved. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in the oven. If you want some additional panache, you might include some Parmesan-Reggiano cheese with rosemary.

If you are worried that brussels sprouts alone may inspire mixed reaction, you might try roasting other vegetables along with them, like sweet potatoes, carrots and cauliflower, and toss them together for a root vegetable salad.

On Top of Pizza: Since pizza is now a popular dish to make at home, with pizza dough easy to buy ready-made, you might consider making pizza with brussels sprouts as one of the toppings, perhaps along with roasted red peppers, olives, and sundried tomatoes.

Cooked or Raw in Salads: With salads, you can choose to use brussels sprouts, either cooked or raw. A brussels sprout and apple salad dish can be crunchy if served immediately after preparation, or more like coleslaw if refrigerated overnight. This simple recipe combines thinly-sliced, boiled sprouts with thinly-sliced Granny Smith apples, with a spicy vinaigrette to sharpen and meld flavors. A similar option is a brussels sprouts and kale salad, with both vegetables shredded in a food processor. With the right vinaigrette, you will have a delicious side.

Stews and Casseroles: If you like beef stew then why not try adding brussels sprouts? Especially in a slow-cooked stew, the sprouts can add wonderful, unexpected flavors. Another option to consider is a brussels sprouts bake, which uses frozen sprouts along with typical casserole ingredients to create an unexpected main course.

If you need a creative caterer for you next event, look no further than Jerry’s Kitchen, which offers full catering services in Doylestown, King of Prussia, and across the Philadelphia region.

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