"The Humble Brussel Sprout" + Recipe by Karen Cline-Tardiff

"I have always considered myself an adventurous eater. I have eaten or attempted to eat things most people would never even consider, from bugs to goat to watusi. About a year ago, however, I realized I had been neglecting the most obvious choice of culinary delight: vegetables. Sure, I had the obvious peas and common greens covered, plenty of corn and carrots. But how do you eat a leek? What is a Swiss chard, really? Did the Swiss invent it? And what of the humble brussel sprout? So I took to the produce aisle at the local grocery store and just started buying things and asking people who were buying it how they prepared it. (I met some really nice people along the way, too!)

The first thing I learned was the correct name: Brussels sprout. It is a member of the cabbage family. The origin of this humble leafy green vegetable is most probably from Brussels, Belgium. An earlier incarnation may have been cultivated in early Rome. French settlers brought them to Louisiana and Thomas Jefferson grew them at Monticello. Centuries of vegetable cultivators can’t be wrong. It is a great winter vegetable, yielding hardy crops from September through March in more Northern climates. In California they are harvested from June through January.

Brussels sprouts are full of vitamins A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber. They have a negligible amount of fat; approximately .3 grams per serving (or 5-10 of those little sprouts). They also have about 8.95 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

Now for the good part. They taste delicious! Having never eaten a Brussels sprout I had no idea how they were or weren’t supposed to be cooked. So I just quartered them, threw them in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil and sea salt, and threw some sliced radishes in with them. According to my surprised husband, people have been boiling them and covering them in cheese for years. I was aghast! Boiling out that delicious flavor and all those wonderful vitamins seems disrespectful.

I have been all over Pintrest and the internet looking up recipes. Adding in leeks (remember those?) and sweet potatoes and sautéed shallots. Those little sprouts have opened up a new world for my taste buds. I hope you decide to rush and pan roast yourself something delicious this week. Leave a comment below and let me know what YOUR favorite thing is to do with Brussels sprouts."

Recipe: Fun Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • handful Brussels sprouts
  • 3 radishes
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
Pour enough olive oil to almost cover the bottom of your favorite skillet. Keep on medium heat.
Peel one sweet potato then cube it into about 1" pieces. Throw into the skillet and put a lid on it. Turn them about every 3 minutes or so. Once they start to go soft, they go soft FAST!

While the sweet potato is cooking, quarter up a handful of Brussels sprouts. Thinly slice about 3 radishes. Once the potatoes are almost soft (about 10 minutes) throw in the sprouts and radish. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Replace the lid. Wait about 3 minutes then stir them up again. The leaves of the sprouts should be lightly browned. Enjoy! - Karen

Karen Cline-Tardiff is a local restaurant owner of the Salty Frog. Thanks Karen!

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