Better Tasting Brussel Sprouts

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Brussel.

Sprouts.

Over-cooked brussel sprouts taste like a used matchstick.  Cook them just right and they're delicious!

Over-cooked brussel sprouts taste like a used matchstick. Cook them just right and they’re delicious!

What two words can conjure up more fear and queasiness in the hearts and stomachs of America’s youth? Most of us hated them growing up, myself included, and refuse to give them a second chance even to this day. I distinctly remember sitting down to dinner and feeling a sense of dread as my mom heaped a large pile of brussel sprouts onto my plate. I also remember my brother strangely getting excited for his equally imposing pile.

Well, I’ve come a long way since those days of choking down the sprouts just so I could leave the table. In fact, I have a brand new respect for these tiny, green sprouts. They’ve even become a go-to vegetable in my house. “Impossible,” you say. I thought so too, but after developing a few recipes, I have come to find that there is one secret that can make or break your sprouts: how long you cook them!

You see, as members of the cabbage family, brussel sprouts contain sulfuric compounds that release when overcooked. So, in essence, cook them just right and they’ll taste wonderful. Overcook them and you’ll get a mushy glob of sulfur in your mouth.

If you’re boiling your sprouts, 6 – 7 minutes is enough time to cook them thoroughly. Roasting can take a bit longer, depending on the temperature. Generally, you’ll want to roast your sprouts for 10 – 12 minutes in a 400 – 450 degree oven.

Here are two of my favorite recipes for brussel sprouts. Try them both and I’m sure you’ll love brussel sprouts as much as I do.

Better Tasting Brussel Sprouts

Better Tasting Brussel Sprouts

Pecan – Brown Butter Brussel Sprouts

  • 1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Trim the brown / rough ends of the sprouts and peel off any dead or yellow outer leaves. Cut sprouts in half. Place sprouts in boiling water for 5 minutes.

While sprouts cook in water, melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat until butter browns and has a slight nutty aroma. Add pecan and toss to coat. Add sprouts and cook for 2 – 3 minutes; tossing occasionally to make sure butter coats all of the sprouts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Champagne Vinegar and Honey

  • 1 1/2 pounds of brussel sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Trim the brown / rough ends of the sprouts and peel off any dead or yellow outer leaves. Cut sprouts in half. Toss well with oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a sheet pan and put into oven. Roast for 10 – 12 minutes – until edges are a medium brown. Remove from oven, toss with vinegar and honey. Serve immediately.

So, there you have it my friends. It’s okay to like brussel sprouts. Just don’t tell mom.

Delicious and healthy.

Delicious and healthy.

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