Farmers' Market Report: Brussels Sprouts are the New It Vegetable


The days of pitifully over-cooked, pungent Brussels sprouts are officially over: this winter try some of these fresh ideas for the much-maligned mini cabbage.

Brussels sprouts, which seem to have originated in Belgium and were brought to the New World with French settlers, are in season for the next few months and available from farmers such as D & D Produce (pictured) at Sunday's Larchmont Village Certified Farmers' Market.

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Brussels sprouts might even replace Tuscan kale as the "It" green this year. They are making frequent appearances on menus across the country as chefs experiment with new recipes that rethink the humble, sturdy veggie. And like our beloved kale, not only are Brussels sprouts packed with nutrients and fiber, particularly vitamins C and K, but with these simple methods of preparation you won't even notice how good they are for you.

For example, try slicing rinsed, raw Brussels sprouts into shreds (a food processor or mandolin is best for this task) and mixing with a hard cheese (such as cheddar or manchego) and apples or dates for a unique chopped salad.

Or roast this winter vegetable for a new layer of flavor: these mini cabbages turn sweet in a hot oven, no boiling needed. Cut off any knobby stems and slice the vegetable vertically before roasting with olive oil, salt & pepper in a single layer at 400° for 30-40 minutes, until golden (or even charred, depending on preference) and crisp. The outer leaves should be almost potato chip-like (and almost as addictive), while the inner leaves soft and sweet. If you've got any skeptics to feed, add some chopped bacon or pancetta before serving: they'll never look back.

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