It’s a vegetable that is infamous for being disgusting. A steaming pile of these foul green bulbs is what many imagine when they think of kids not wanting their vegetables. I had never tried them and being my curious self that is always looking for a new taste, sensation or adventure, I decided to buy a bag of them.
They were sitting beside purple carrots in the corner of the produce section, that place where mother nature’s exiled creations are found (though curiously often where I find the most nutritious options).
I took them home and had no clue what I was doing. I assumed they had to be cooked because I had never seen them eaten raw.
Extra virgin olive oil is my first go-to if I am cooking vegetables. It is a healthy fat that enhances flavors while providing a caramelized crunch to pan-seared or roasted foods.
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper are good for just about anything, so that was added next. Sea salt provides other minerals and nutrients that classic table salt doesn’t have, and pepper… well it was once used as a currency and offered to Gods so I don’t think I need to say much about it. Among other things it is a good source of many vitamins and helps with digestion.
Before placing the sprouts in the pan, I cut the ends off that had browned, peeled off the yellowing outer leaves and cut the bulbs in half, thinking it would help to cook faster while allowing me to indulge in my curiosity of what they looked like inside.
(I have an interesting desire to see the inside of things and how they work. So no one becomes worried, I must say when this curiosity sparks towards living things, I seek for a diagram rather than physically exploring. Rest assured).
After oil was heated, I added the Brussel’s sprouts to the pan and decided some fresh garlic would add a nice touch. When they were sufficiently browned, I finished them with a touch of parsley, lime zest and lime juice. For many dishes finishing off with a bit of a fresh herb and citrus-y zest adds the perfect final touch. This is an Italian secret I learned a few years ago to make meals fresh and exciting.
Now was the moment of truth.
I threw them on a plate, took a picture first of course, and then got out a fork. I slowly put one in my mouth and began chewing a perfectly cooked leaf vegetable with amazing flavors. Sweet and tangy on top of a salted broccoli-like earthy vegetable with a touch of peppery garlic spice to finish. The texture was like perfectly steamed broccoli (not too soft) mixed with nature’s version of phyllo dough (made out of leaves).
The end conclusion? Too many parents must have cooked these the wrong way (which can be done with anything mind you) to make children all over the world despise this substantially nutritious and tasty side-dish.
Here’s the picture: