Brussels sprouts is an odd name for a vegetable that looks like a baby cabbage. Supposedly, the vegetable as we know it today, was grown in Belgium where Brussels is the capital city as early as the 13th century. In parts of Europe they are also known as “Brussels cabbage,” which seems appropriate since they are a subspecies of the common cabbage.
The key to cooking Brussels sprouts is to not overcook them! If you plan on cooking them whole, cut an X on the bottom of each one so that the core will cook evenly with the outer leaves. As a rule, when Brussels sprouts have lost the bright green color, they are overcooked. Overcooked Brussels sprouts are flavorless and have less nutritional value.
Whether steaming, braising or roasting, cooking time should average 8 to 10 minutes. If the sprouts are uneven in size, consider cutting them in half before cooking.
Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Sauce
- 1 pound small, firm, bright green Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 teaspoon sea or rock salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse and remove any loose or discolored leaves. Using a paring knife, cut an X deep into the stem end of each sprout. In a large saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil, then add Brussels sprouts to the saucepan. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small dish, whisk olive oil and mustard. When the sprouts are done, drain and then pour the sauce over the sprouts. Toss and season with fresh pepper. Serves 4.
Like cabbage, Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable. Current research suggests vegetables in this group offer protection against many forms of cancer.
Nutrition Facts for 1/2 cup cooked Brussels sprouts only: 30 calories, 2 grams protein, 7 grams carbs, 2 grams dietary fiber, 247 milligrams potassium, 48 milligrams vitamin C, 47 micrograms folate, 561 IU vitamin A.
For more healthy recipes and to learn about the dietary secrets of the “Super-Healthy,” check out my book: Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secret Of The Super-Healthy.