Remember when you were growing up and your mother told you to try new foods because eventually you’d like them? And you laughed and harumphed and said “yeah, right?”
Mom was right.
Big shocker, eh mom?
I read somewhere that your palate changes every seven years. I’m starting to believe it’s true, as the sheer number of foods I’ve developed a taste for in the past few years is astounding. Scallops, shrimps, goat cheese, hummus, cashews, pecans, asparagus, greek yogurt…the list goes on and on and on.
On that list is the vegetable of all vegetables hated by children around the world.
Just saying the word are enough to make kids and adults alike scrunch their faces up into looks of gastronomical horror.
“But they’re slimey!!” (No dear, that’s okra.)
Brussel sprouts are…in a word…divine. One of the few veggies I love as much cold as hot. (Note, I don’t mean raw, I mean cold.) In other words…I purposely make 2-3 times more than we’ll eat just so I can have the leftovers in the fridge to snack on.
In fact, I’ll let you in on a dirty little secret.
I let my children think they are awful just so Mr W and I don’t have to share. On brussels sprout nights, I always make two veggies. The kids have to TRY one half of a brussels sprout, but it’s with sympathetic “encouragement” from us.
“Oh, I know you don’t like them, but remember…it’s important to try new things.”
Then I cast a knowing glance at Mr W and we share a small smile as we wonder how may more years we have before the kids figure out just how wonderful some of these foods actually are.
So with all that said…how do you MAKE brussels sprouts that are worth eating?
First, you absolutely, positively must use FRESH brussels sprouts. Not canned, not frozen…fresh!
Then, you’ve got two choices. Roast them in the oven or pan fry them on the stove. Roasting them is delicious and a bit more healthy since you need less butter and oil, but it takes forever, so I never do it. So what I’m sharing today is my no-fail recipe for pan fried brussels sprouts.
Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound of fresh brussels sprouts
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T butter
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Bacon pieces
- Asiago cheese
Cut the bottom 1/4″ off of each brussles sprout. Peel off any outside leaves that look bruised, damaged or otherwise “yucky.” Slice the brussels sprouts in half, vertically and toss them into bowl. (Throw the leaves that fall off when you slice them as well…these little individual leaves are brussels sprout ambrosia.) Mince garlic. Heat butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat, then add garlic and cook it until the oil smells fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Add the sprouts to the mix, tossing to coat with the oil. Shake the pan every few minutes and salt to taste. It usually takes between 15 and 20 minutes to get them ready on the stove. Occasionally, I’ll need to add a touch more butter, but you can also opt to turn the heat down a bit more if things are starting to look too dry.
When done, the sprouts should be tender, but still hold a solid shape. They should also have a nice savory taste rather than a sharp, bitter taste. (If they are bitter, they aren’t done yet.) Those little leaves of ambrosia? Those will get nice and caramelized and are among the tastiest form of vegetable known to man. Seriously, I eat most of them while standing over the stove cooking the batch. (Shh…don’t tell anyone!)
If you want to be really naughty…toss some bacon pieces in about halfway through and then top with some fresh grated asiago cheese just before you take it to the dinner table.
Mmmmmm… I’m feeling really thankful I’ve got leftovers waiting for me upstairs in the fridge as soon as I publish this.