Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Ingredients 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts 3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions Preheat the oven to 400F.
Lightly trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow or damaged outer leaves. If a bit large, some or all may be cut, "pole to pole" in half.
Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Pour them on a large baking pan with low sides, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
Shake the pan or stir them from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. You will be looking for caramelization, so don't remove them before they look deep brown, even black in spots.
Sprinkle with more kosher salt, if you like things good and salty; it contrasts well with the sweet taste of Twin Springs really fresh sprouts.
Serve immediately, but you'll find that the leftovers make a good snack right out of the fridge.
Sprouts Lore and nutritional facts, from Jo Robinson's "Eating on the Wild Side"
"Brussels sprouts are a high-nutrient mutant. Researchers' best guess is that they came from a type of kale called Glanders kale, which underwent a spontaneous mutation and developed small cabbage-like structures along the stalk. Brussels sprouts were popular in England and France by the late eighteenth century. Thomas Jefferson, ever on the lookout for new adventures in food, brought the vegetable back to the United States in 1812...
The sprouts offer so many health benefits ... it's a good idea to eat more of them (this will apply to the Kalettes, when available). For example, Brussels sprouts kill more human cancer cells than all other crucifers (broccoli, cabbage, kale etc., a large family). In a 2009 test-tube study, extracts of the vegetable destroyed 100 percent of human cancer cells of the breast, pancreas, stomach, prostate, and lung.
The trick is to reduce the bitterness of the sprouts as much as possible. If you select them carefully and cook them properly, they can be surprisingly sweet, nutty, and mild-flavored. At the supermarket (Hey, that should be farmers' market), look for bright green Brussels sprouts that have tightly wrapped leaves. If they look wilted, yellow, or have a strong cabbage odor, they were harvested long ago and will have used up most of their natural sugars and nutrients. Frozen Brussels sprouts are convenient and available year-round, but lab tests show they have only 20% of the cancer-fighting compounds of fresh sprouts.
Brussels sprouts respire rapidly, so treat them as you would broccoli. Refrigerate them as soon as you get them home and eat them that day or the next. Just before cooking, rinse, and trim the stems. Cut a cross into the bottom of the larger stems so they will cook as quickly as the leaves. Steam on the stove top for six to eight minutes, depending on their size. Taste one to see if it's done. the sprouts should be tender but still slightly crunchy. If you steam them much longer than eight minutes, they will become limp, bitter, and lose their bright green color. To serve them, toss with butter, olive oil, or a vinaigrette. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a cream sauce on special occasions - this will also make them palatable to people who don't like bitter flavors (Hey, Twin Springs' aren't bitter!). In addition you can roast Brussels sprouts in the oven or saute them in olive oil and garlic. A chef I know recommends sauteing them in duck fat.