I have been touting the delicate, delightful flavors of the vegetable known as the Brussels sprout for ages. Well, for months, at least. Ever since I was lucky enough to acquire a small carton of fresh baby ones from the Real Food Market in the South Village (where I was lucky enough to work) this past fall. Katchkie Farms, which I'll discuss in further romanticized detail later, introduced these globular wonders to me, and for this, I owe eternal thanks. Like many naysayers, at first Brussels sprouts conjured up taste memories of bitterness through and through. Then there were the visuals of my babysitter trying to serve them to me covered in American cheese as though I wouldn't be able to tell what was under that Nerf ball-ish, gooey blanket.
But, alas. Now I say what covers the Brussels sprout and I say nothing, save for some olive oil, salt, and pepper. And dots of butter. I wash and trim them, halve them, and toss them in a 450 degree oven til they're all brown around the edges, the stray leaves are crispy, and the insides are soft, but nowhere near mushville.
Now I know my little treasures have grown more popular -- I see them on restaurant menus and my more food-interested friends gobble them up. However, I know there are still many, many people out there who are disinterested and even disgusted by the mention of Brussels sprouts. And to this I say... Come over to my house and let me make them for you and change your mind! And I also say- Haven't you seen how they grow on those amazing, thick, rod-like stems with all the little miniature cabbage heads sticking out like some wacky Tim Burton veggie Christmas tree?
And here's me stealing some crispy bits right from the oven. On the right is Salmon Cannelloni with Lemon Cream Sauce from January's Gourmet. Salmon fillets wrapped in homemade crespelle and fresh tarragon, doused in creamy lemon goodness.