I’m pretty sure I’ve probably already lost half of you somewhere between Brussels and sprouts. But for those of you that have gotten this far, hang in there with me! I know that Brussels sprouts aren’t exactly the prom queen of the vegetable world, and that there are a lot of people out there who would rather eat nothing than eat a Brussels sprout.
But let me just throw something out there… these little guys can be delicious. And not even in the sense of “anything you fry up with onions and bacon will be delicious”. There is another way to deal with these buggers.
I, for one, don’t have this crazy aversion to sprouts that other people have. I was never forced to eat them growing up, I’ve never had them from a can, and I’ve never been under duress while eating one. I have no reason to hate them. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I had actually ever had them until maybe a few years ago. So many I can appreciate them more, because they aren’t laced with threats of withheld dessert and regret, as they are for some people.
So this is a challenge to all you Brussels sprout haters out there: Give them one more try. If you take prepare them the right way, they are so different than every other way you’ve had them. There is so much to like about them if you give them a shot. For one, they are healthy. I know that doesn’t always carry a lot of weight around here, but it may be helpful in your household. Also they look like baby cabbages. And we all know that things that look like miniature versions of something else are delightful. And, all joking, aside, they can taste really, really good. They have a beautiful nutty-bitter thing going on, and when it’s balanced with something bright and acidic (like lemon juice), their flavor becomes very pronounced and you can appreciate it for all its Brussels sproutiness.
I owe all of my excitement about Brussels sprouts to Mark Bittman, because it was in his cookbook that I found this way of preparing them. To be honest, I have no idea why I made them this way the first time… it doesn’t sound all that exciting. But I’m so glad I did. Only someone as genius as him would have come up with something so simple, yet so perfect. So yes, you can direct your complaints about my sprout ramblings to him.
Simmered Brussels Sprouts
2 T butter
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T minced fresh parsley (if you have it, it would be nice, but it’s not necessary)