Monday, February 7, 2011

Winter Garden Sprouts

I did not eat anything green, except for green beans, until I was 19. The fact that I am a small farmer and run a farmers' market is quiet humorous to my mother who frequently found my veggies hidden in napkins, fed to the dog, and many other creative ways I found to clean my plate without actually having a veggie cross my lips.

Last week, we had a couple of beautiful days in the 60s that I was able to get out and work my garden, prepping it for this summer's market garden. Then, it snowed. Crazy weather.

I had one problem while laying out my garden, a good problem. I still have beautiful brussels sprouts growing from my first ever winter garden.

This crazy weather has not hindered the plants one bit! I wish I could say that for my washing pile, two boys playing in the snow and putting on dry clothes all day will wear a Maytag out. Oh, and wear a mom out too.
Look-a-there, beautiful. Brussels sprouts for dinner when I was a kid would have been a very traumatic event, ranked right up there with beets.
They are delicious and my kids LOVE them. And, guess what? Fresh, PROPERLY PREPARED brussels sprouts ARE NOT SLIMY. It’s true. They are solid, and crisp, and taste great!

Here is what you do: Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy, like me, just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in your largest skillet, I cook strictly with cast iron which I am sure makes everything taste better. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese (if you want and who would not want cheese?). While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Try it Mikey, you'll like it!
The Park Wife


Nugget said...

We had Brussel Sprouts for dinner last night. :) I steam mine whole after I trim them up. I fry a couple of pieces of chopped up smoked bacon then toss the steamed sprouts into the frying pan stir, add a little kosher salt and place in a serving dish. The bacon pieces get to the top that way. :)Everybody loves them. I have had them twice this year, I always crave them about this time of year. Can't believe you didn't like veggies. :P

Anonymous said...

Yummy! When's the next batch ready, I'm coming over for supper!

Osage Bluff Quilter said...

That's exactly the way we make ours. I love them. Never again will I buy frozen ones.
I have to confess, I have to buy mine at the market. Maybe we will try growing some this year.

SweetMissMagnolia said...

wasn't a big brussel sprouts fan until about last year (and I'm 40)....I either roast them,saute them or basicly steam them now...had them tonight as a matter of fact LOL....but my kiddo won't touch maybe one day

From Tracie said...

I have never had a brussel sprout before, but my husband loves them. I should give your recipe a try!

Beth said...

Love it, sister.

My husband was unconvinced about the virtues of brussel sprouts until I cooked up a batch for him just like this.

Granted, this comes from a vegetarian of nearly 20 years - love me some fresh veggies! :)

Betty G said...

So proud of you and your late addiction to veggies. Never too late! Your recipe sounds terrific and I need to try it.

Betty in Tennessee

AKBrady said...

I grow brussel sprouts up here in Alaska, and, when the moose don't get to them first, manage to get my son to eat them, too. Love, love, love them. Amazing how fresh they taste, too. :)