Saturday, March 03, 2007

loves me dem sprouts!

There are lots of folks out there who don't like brussels sprouts, and even though I'm not one of them, I can understand why, especially if we're talking frozen sprouts here. Fresh are definitely better. The Huz has always been among that number, so for years now I've limited myself to having them when he's not around for the meal.

Usually I roast my sprouts, either whole, halved, or quartered, often eating them with a healthy (read: big!) sprinkling of salt and some balsamic vinegar. I like to keep some already cooked in the fridge and eat them cold as a snack or pop them in the microwave to warm them up. To prep them I always used to cut off a teeny slice of the stem end of the sprout, which is usually dried and hardened, to expose fresh sprout flesh. In the process of slicing off the stem, you'll get some loose sprout leaves, and I've usually discarded them but not worried too much about it if they got in the roasting pan with the sprouts. And that's how I discovered that I really loved the separated outer leaves, roasted.

So the next time I made them, the slice off the bottom of the sprout was not so teeny, so as to liberate more outer leaves from the sprout for roasting. And the next thing you know, I was aiming for lots of leaves and leaving only tiny bits of sprout core for roasting. I sprayed the leaves with Mazola Pure spray canola oil (no point in using those aerosols with the extra chemicals, I figure) and spread them evenly on the bottom of the roasting pan. They roasted beautifully in under 20 minutes in a 425-degree oven, and then I salted them quite a bit and ate them like potato chips. Yum!

And would you believe it, The Huz likes them too. We're both delighted. Brussels sprouts are one of those cruciferous veggies that we've all been encouraged to eat lots of because of their cancer-fighting properties. Research shows they contain phytochemicals that strengthen the liver's ability to detoxify cancer-causing toxins. It's always nice to find out that you like something that's good for you!

If brussels sprouts still seem like too much of a stretch for you, check this article on the Diet Channel for lists of other, perhaps less challenging antioxidant-rich veggies like arugula, watercress, and radishes and see if you can find a few that you might be willing to add to your diet.

This is my first entry in a long, long time to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging. Check out her roundup of posts about herbs, veggies, fruits, and even flowers this Sunday evening!

P.S. Anonymous asked what kind of camera I use to take my pics. It's just a Canon PowerShot S1 IS, which I chose because it had a 10x optical zoom, never noticing that it didn't have a macro mode! So I don't recommend it for food bloggers. I'm looking for a smaller camera that does have macro mode ... anyone have any recommendations?

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Kalyn said...

I do think the pictures look pretty good, especially if you don't have macro! Love the sound of this. I must try it soon. BTW, I'm still loving Vegetables Every Day! What a great book.

Lynne said...

Yum! Wow they look and sound good! I must lead a pretty sheltered life because I've never actually tasted a brussel sprout. This might be a good way to try them for the first time!

PALocalvore said...

I love Brussel Sprouts- for years my grandmother made me a special brussel sprout dish for my birthday dinner. I really like them as sweet-hot pickles, but roasting sounds pretty yummy too. I've never thought of doing that- looks like next Sunday's dinner is shaping up here!
Have you ever grown them? I am fascintaed by the way they look in the seed catalogs, but have not gotten up my nerve to plant them.


Helene said...

Brussels sprouts is a favourite of my husband´s. But I never did it like this. Thanks for inspiring me. :)

PatL said...

Lynne, helene, it would be nice to think my li'l post inspired someone to give bspouts a try!

palocalvore: that's amazing that you liked them as a kid. Did the special gramma dish include lots of cream or cheese or something like that? I haven't grown them either. Somehow, when summer finally comes, it seems more important to grow things like tomatoes, and beans, and basil! I have to agree bspouts do look a little intimidating. Just as well to buy 'em fresh, already detached from the stem!

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

We love sprouts! I'll have to give your recipe a try and roast us up some leaves.

Barbara (Biscuit Girl) said...

I forgot to mention.....Sophie loves brussels sprouts!