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Brussel Sprouts: A Lesson On Love

There’s one vegetable that seems to be universally hated by all.

You know what I’m talking about; they’re commonly accepted as a kid’s worst nightmares and seen as leafy spheres of bitterness that haunt children’s dinner plates.

And sadly, many non-children seem to dislike them as well. What a tragedy.

Brussel sprouts; you can’t deny that they’re a vastly unappreciated vegetable.

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But I’ll be honest with you – I love Brussel sprouts. Really, I do. In fact, you could say I adore them.

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That cruciferous bitterness that most people hate so much? I think of it as a nuanced vegetal-ness unique to the Brussel sprout.
The layered leaves that make for a not-quite-crunchy texture? I like that they make for a snappy interior different from any other vegetable.
And as if containing cancer-preventing chemicals wasn’t cool enough, Brussel sprouts also grow on these super-cool stalks:

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WHOA.

I know, you think I’m crazy. I can go on and on about the virtues about the Brussel sprout, but I know that most of you wouldn’t be convinced. So instead, I’m going  to show you the best way to cook these guys, proving once and for all that Brussel sprouts are AWESOMELY DELICIOUS.

But first, you gotta clean them, washing them a couple of times in clean water and putting them in a colander to drain.

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You need to trim the ends too, but try doing it as close to the end as possible – that way you get minimal leaf loss.

Oh yeah, another reason you should like Brussel sprouts? They’re freaking ADORABLE.

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little soldiers, they are

So round and cute… like baby cabbages. But better.

Ahem. Anyways, after the sprouts are cleaned, take out your knife and cutting board and cut all of them in half. Bisect them. Split them down the middle. Whatever, you get the point.

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It’s also a good idea to check these guys for any brown spots or unappetizing-looking bits while doing this.

And I hate to break it to you, but with all this sprout-handling, some of the outer leaves are bound to fall off.

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It’s inevitable, but feel free to eat them anyways. Waste not, want not! They taste kind of broccoli-ish.

After all the Brussels are nicely cut up…

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Drizzle on a bit of olive oil.

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And you want to massage the little guys, making sure that all of them are well-coated with olive oil. Brussel sprouts need TLC to make them uber-yummy!

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There, that looks good.

Next, get a rather large skillet and put it over medium heat. Drizzle a little more olive oil in it and wait for it to heat up.

Now this is the important part; when you place your Brussel-halves in the pan, you have to make sure they’re flat side-down, like so:

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Aww, they look like little beetles.

Cover the pan with a lid, and let the sprouts cook until they’re just tender and the bottoms are slightly golden.

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After a few minutes (and this is the secret to getting perfect Brussel sprouts) crank the heat up to high.

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This will give the sprouts a hard sear, carmelizing the bottoms and giving them that crispy edge that people like so much.

After the bottoms have been browned, toss the them around, so the round parts get some love too.

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After the other sides are done to your liking, plate them up!

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Ah yes, look at that crispiness…

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I kid you not, this is the best way to cook Brussel sprouts. Alright, everyone’s gonna have their preferences, but this method is universally definitely up there. That slightly crunchy edge is what make these AWESOME. And I’m not gonna lie, that characteristic Brussel sprout bitterness is still there; but it’s considerably milder and less green-tasting, tempered by that perfect, slight burnt taste from the sautéing.

And look at them… Doesn’t this make you want to try them? DOESN’T IT?

Yup, that’s what I thought.

So even if you’ve suffered from a Brussel sprout trauma in your childhood, I hope you give them another chance. Because they’re really not that evil; give them the right love, and they’ll love you right back. :)

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Brussel Sprouts: A Lesson On Love

  1. the horror…haha kidding. we gotta try the brussel sprouts at the ssam bar.

    Posted by Euna | July 2, 2011, 11:50 pm
  2. I LOVE brussels sprouts – totally my favorite veggie. I prefer mine steamed and plain – what can I say, I’m hard core, haha ;)

    Posted by Jaime | July 3, 2011, 4:10 pm
  3. brussel sprouts with aged balsamic vinegar is the yummiest thing ever! you should try it youniceee

    Posted by Andrea | July 3, 2011, 7:29 pm
  4. I have to admit, I was the kid that hated brussel sprouts! Up into my 20’s! It’s only recently that I’ve discovered that I actually love them. I really love them roasted but this looks very similar with the lovely brown edges. Yum!

    Posted by Heidi @ Food Doodles | July 3, 2011, 9:25 pm
  5. ugh delish. roasted with a little butter, salt, and pepper is my favorite

    Posted by Tammy | July 4, 2011, 1:18 am
  6. I love roasting them in the oven the best!

    Posted by Natasha | January 26, 2012, 9:37 pm

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