Henry County’s Cooking with Brussels sprouts

By Jimmie Batchelor
Special to the Times

Our friend, Jimmie Batchelor, has provided some recipes for a new take on Brussels sprouts. Special photo

I already know a great many of you do not care for Brussels sprouts. As with most of our vegetables, the way they taste, aside from the differences in our taste buds, depends upon how we cook them. If I don’t like the way a vegetable tastes, I always try a few different ways before avoiding that vegetable.

We will start simply with how I have always cooked whole Brussels sprouts. I only purchase enough fresh sprouts to eat maybe two servings. They are loose in the fresh produce bin and I pick up maybe 10 that look freshest. Keep refrigerated and cook as soon as possible, as with all vegetables.

Whole Brussels sprouts - Rinse off sprouts in colander. Cut the stem end flat against the small head. Remove outer leaves as you would a head of lettuce. Before cooking whole, I cut a small x in the flat bottom of stem. You may cut these in half if large. The newest cooking method has them “shaved.” This is setting the sprouts flat side down and cutting into slices. You can also slice in your food processor if you are not a ‘hands-on’ cook. It is so simple to hand slice, I can’t see spending the time and effort to mess up your food processor. Sprouts can be boiled, sauteed, roasted or shaved raw in a salad. Throw some in with other vegetables the next time you are roasting. A helpful hint if baking/roasting, cover your pan with foil. Easy cleanup!

I hope some of these ideas might urge you to try sprouts again if you had written them off your list.

If you have access to a computer, please Google the question of “How do I cook “____” filling in any vegetable you are curious about. You may end up cooking healthier and finding more vegetables you have never tried!

Whole Brussels Sprouts

After cleaning and preparing your Brussels sprouts as instructed above, place them in medium saucepan. You can use enough broth (chicken, beef, vegetable) or plain water to just cover the tops. I sprinkle salt, pepper and about 1 tsp. sugar. You may also add 1 tsp. butter. All of this is dependent on your taste preferences.

Bring to simmer, cover, leaving at simmer. Cook until tender, check tenderness with fork after 10 minutes.