December 13, 2017

Mighty Mini Cabbage

Brussels sprouts

Janine Pineo Photo | Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts rarely get the love they deserve. This member of the cabbage clan grows best in cool weather like its other relatives, cabbage, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. The requirements on soil and water are similar to those of the kinfolk, so the trick to getting sprouts is when you plant them. It can be a fussy plant to grow because it needs a long growing season and generally does better if planted a bit later (late spring/early summer) so that they will mature when things get cooler in early fall.  The leafy vegetable forms in the leaf axils and is called a bud. The little cabbage-like sprouts are loaded with Vitamins K and C, along with a host of other goodies, but some are turned off by the vegetable’s flavor. That might be because the sprouts are usually boiled to death, which can make the taste nasty and the texture slimy. Try roasting them instead: Cut them in half, toss them with some olive oil and place on a baking sheet before sprinkling a bit of salt on them. Cook in a 400-425 degree oven until they start to look a bit crispy. Then you get the true flavor of a terrific vegetable.