Friday, March 07, 2008

Dictionary Friday: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts
The Brussels (or brussels or brussel) sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) of the Brassicaceae family, is a cultivar group of Wild Cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5 - 4cm, 1 - 1.5 inches diameter) leafy green buds, which resemble miniature cabbages. The name stems from the original place of cultivation, not because of the vegetable's popularity in Brussels.

This entry could also be a "trendy", considering how hot the vegetable seems to be these days. For years and years, I heard only a little about Brussels sprouts and, even then, much of what I did hear was negative. I felt the same way. My mom's always loved them, but when she cooked Brussels sprouts when I was a kid, they were, well, terrible - frozen then steamed and just sort of gross.

But for whatever reason, the oft-maligned veggie is enjoying a fabulous renaissance. Fortunate for me, too, as I've discovered that I love them. Not frozen, and not steamed, but how good are roasted Brussels sprouts? Or sauteed with a little bacon?

Really, really. That's how good they are.


Joyce said...

Funny you should mention brussel sprouts today. I was out with clients at Cinghale last night, 5 maybe 6 dishes had them and for some reason it caught my eye.

Kit Pollard said...

I can't help wonder what the Brussels sprouts tipping point was? What made this happen?

They're like the LOLZ CATS of foods...

Kathy said...

I've always loved Brussels sprouts, even as a little kid when all I could get were the frozen kind, overcooked. But I grew up in a Polish household where there was always some form of cabbage cooking, and sprouts were just another form of it for me.

One of our favorite ways to cook them is to cut off the stems and separate all of the leaves. Rinse well, then put in a large skillet. Cover, turn on the heat, and allow the leaves to steam in the water clinging to them. When they turn bright green, they're done. We usually sprinkle them with some Golden Whisk Star of Siam oil (spicy lemongrass flavored) but regular olive oil and a little S&P is fine as well. We have these for Thanksgiving every year.

Kit Pollard said...

Those sound great...especially with a little spice...


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