Are you a Brussels sprouts hater? I’m guessing that many of you are.
I’m not. But then I’ve never been subjected to over-boiled Brussels.
So how did I escape the boiled Brussels? I’m from Fiji. Brussels sprouts don’t grow in a tropical climate. And after we moved to Australia, I escaped them again — because my parents weren’t familiar with the sprouts, they never cooked them. Thus, thankfully, my childhood never got scarred by boiled, mushy sprouts. Unlike many of you, it seems.
I didn’t realise how bad the loathing was for this (yummy) vegetable until I came across two recent instances:
A girlfriend, whom I do my weekly shop at the markets with, really wanted to give them a try — she had never had Brussels sprouts since her (scarred) childhood. Jacq was so nervous about buying them, that it took a few visits to the market before she decided to give them a go. You can read what happened here.
The other instance was through someone I know via social media. She had taken some pics of Brussels sprouts on Instagram, saying that she was “trying to be adventurous” and needed some recipes to make them yummy.
So why even bother with this vegetable? Well, Brussels sprouts belong to the Brassica family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages and kale. Brassicas contain sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties. Apparently boiling reduces the level of the anticancer compounds in Brasiccas, but steaming and stir frying do not seem to cause significant loss. Another reason not to boil these beautiful babies!
I’ve made Brussels sprouts a few times. I think of them as baby cabbages (they look like it, don’t they?), and find them rather delicious. When steamed or stir-fried, they have a slightly sweet, nutty taste.
So after hearing about all the abhorring that’s going on for this mistreated vegetable, I thought I’d post up a simple, yet delicious recipe.
- 280 g (about 2 cups) Brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) ghee or coconut oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 3–4 sprigs fresh thyme (use sprig if soft, otherwise leaves only)
- sea salt, to taste
Wash sprouts, trim the ends and halve lengthwise. If your sprouts are large-ish, cut them into quarters. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a fry pan (that has a lid) over medium heat. Add garlic, turmeric, cinnamon and chilli, then add the sprouts and thyme almost immediately so that the garlic doesn’t burn.
Season and sauté over low heat for about 10 minutes with the lid partly on, or until cooked through (soft, but still firm enough to hold their shape). You will need to stir continually, so the sprouts don’t catch on the pan.
Adjust seasoning, and enjoy as a side to any meal. I had mine with dhal, basmati rice and beetroot raita.
For more delicious Brussels sprouts recipes, check out 101cookbooks.
Do you love or hate Brussels sprouts? Please share in the comments below. And if you have a quick easy recipe, also add that in. If you hate them, why not try out this recipe or others mentioned in this post? Then report back here on your experience. Go on. You may just get converted.
Have a happy , healthy weekend,