Free the Brussels Sprout

It’s time to loosen up the baby cabbage from its tightly bound confines. For years it’s been served whole after being boiled to a dull green, a sad specimen associated with many a family turkey dinner gone by.

But no longer. The Brassica oleracea is coming of age, shaking free of its leafy corset, and showing its true colours and versatility at the dinner table.

When trimming Brussels, those leaves that fall away can be put to good use. Washed, then blanched, and shocked in cold water, they turn a brilliant green.

Riffing on a treatment I heard about at a Vancouver restaurant, chop capers and lemon zest together. Grate some parmesan.

Heat olive oil in a saute pan and toss the leaves, coating evenly with oil and season. Throw in the caper-lemon mixture and toss evenly. Heat the leaves through, tossing all the while.

Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and serve. Serve alone or alongside a juicy pork chop, a slice of turkey or other roasted bird. It’s crazy delicious.

Another treatment is to cut the sprout in half and slice each half in to 4 or 5 pieces – depending on the size.

Blanch and keep at the ready. Next, fry some good quality smoked bacon and add some reduced balsamic – a sticky sweet addition.

Add the sliced Brussels and a couple of splashes of chicken stock. Toss the ingredients to coat evenly and cook until heated through. Taste, adding more balsamic if needed. Serve.

Thank God Almighty. Free at last.

3 Responses to “Free the Brussels Sprout”

  1. powderate says:

    Your post has me salivating for these lovely lobes of which a small patch grows in my garden. Your first rendition with capers, lemon zest and grand cheese speaks loudly of sunny flavor and crisp textures.
    In days gone by brussel sprouts were a fixture ingredient in my turkey stuffing along with a good lean sausage – today it’s a plain stuffing to please all. This season I see a new side dish just for me. Bets are there will be converts. Thanks Shelora.

  2. Kristy Lynn says:

    mmmmmm I usually just roast em. Blacken the crap outta em. And then drizzle with a little balsamic reduction.

    I’ve been wondering how to get their leaves to separate – very helpful!

  3. Thanks, Powderate. The variations for the lovely lobe seems endless. And love the idea of roasting them whole, Kristy. That will be next. Thanks to you both!

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