Brussels sprouts are named after Belgium’s capital, Brussels, where it is believed that the sprouts were first cultivated. They are characterized by leafy green buds which look a lot like miniaturized cabbages. They taste like cabbages, but have a slightly more delicate flavor and a much thicker texture.
Sprouts may be boiled, steamed, or tossed into a salad. Steaming is the best way to cook sprouts because it locks in the flavor, color, and nutrients.
You can steam the sprouts by either placing them in a pot filled with about an inch of water or by using a vegetable steamer.
Brussels sprouts are rich in protein and in vitamins A and C. They also have “indoles” which are organic compounds that help reduce the risks of cancer.
Buying Brussels Sprouts
When buying, choose the ones that are compact and firm. They should also be bright green in color. Avoid those that are soft and yellow in color. It is better to buy the sprouts individually rather than buying in bunches. This will ensure that each piece you buy is fresh. Also, pick sprouts that are of the same size, so that each piece will cook evenly.
When placing packed Brussels sprouts in the freezer, remove the wrapping, examine the sprouts first, and throw away the bad ones. Do not wash the sprouts. Excess moisture will affect its freezer life. Individually bought sprouts must be placed in a plastic bag punched with tiny holes.
Cooking Brussels Sprouts
- Fill a cooking pot with water. There should be one cup of water for every cup of sprouts.
- Bring the water to a boil. Then, add the sprouts.
- Remove the sprouts when tender.
- Boil about an inch of water in a cooking pot or vegetable steamer. Add the Brussels sprouts when the water boils.
- Cook in steam for at least 2 minutes.
- Uncover the pot for at least 10 seconds to remove some of the strong smell from cooking.
- Replace the lid and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Cook until tender.
- Poke the Brussels sprouts with a fork to see if they are done.
Brussels Sprout Salad
You will need:
- 15 sprouts, equally sized
- 8 strips of cooked bacon (optional)
- Your choice of salad dressing
- cherry tomatoes, halved
- a clove of garlic (minced)
- Boil or steam the sprouts, then place them in cold water.
- Remove the sprout leaves and place them in a bowl.
- Tear apart or crush the bacon strips and place them over the sprouts.
- Add the cherry tomatoes and minced garlic.
- Pour desired amount of salad dressing and serve.