Here in Buenos Aires the weather has cooled (sniff) and the local verdulerias are stocking their shelves with fall products that this Americana has yet to see here.
Amongst the many new arrivals, brussels sprouts have become my latest obsession.
I was a big consumer of the tasty creatures while living in NYC and was pleasantly surprised to see them making an appearance here in Argentine, especially at the peso price.
One package (20 sprouts) runs about 5 pesos ($1.25) in the lovely barrio de Palermo.
And the best part, they’re good for you!!! Brussels sprouts are loaded with antioxidants and fiber that boost our immune systems as well as lower cholesterol and fight off cancer.
AND they help transform serotonin into melatonin which helps regulate our bodies rhythm. So boys and girls, eat them with confidence.
When cooking ANY vegetable, the shorter the cooking time the more beneficial for your body. The moment you cut into a fruit or vegetable they start releasing their superpowers, so don’t prep them too far in advance.
My favorite method for cooking vegetables is roasting. High heat, low cooking time, and easy clean up. I also like to use my cast iron and I place it at the very bottom of the oven closest to the flame. This ensures fast cooking, and the thickness of the cast iron will prevent burning as long as I give them a shake and pull them out on time.
This recipe is super basic yet one of my fave’s. I’ve seriously been making it almost everyday for lunch the past 3 weeks. Can’t beat a meal for under two bucks!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts:
- brussel sprouts with tips trimmed, ugly leaves removed, and properly rinsed. Small ones kept whole, bigger ones cut in half for even cooking.
- garlic clove un-peeled and smashed with palm
- olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
I personally like to roast at a HIGH temperature of 400º-450ºF. If this is too much for your oven, lower it to 350º-375ºF.
Place brussels sprouts and garlic in a cast-iron skillet and drizzle with olive oil. DON’T use too much oil! The taste will overpower the sprouts and they’ll end up greasy. Not good!
Season with sea salt & pepper and throw them in a VERY hot oven on the lowest shelf.
Set the timer for 7 minutes, clean up your mess, and give the pan a shake when the timer goes off.
Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the sprouts are bright green and starting to brown. If you think they may need more time, pierce the biggest with a fork; it should go through about mid way.
Carefully remove the hot cast iron and take out the garlic.
Discard the clove OR pop it from it’s skin, smash it with a fork, add some salt and olive oil until a paste is formed, and then spread it on some toasty bread. Grab your sprouts and enjoy.
BS Notes & Facts:
- Overcooked brussels smell similar to farts. And taste is mostly smell. So imagine how that smell will taste in your mouth. Not pleasant. Don’t overcook your brussel sprouts.
- Fresh brussels should be eaten within 3-5 days of purchase. They can also be stored in the freezer for 3-5 weeks. ALWAYS eat fresh or frozen when possible.
- Louisiana was the first place in the states to have BS. They were brought over to New Orleans by the French in the 1800’s.
- BS grow in cool climates and harvest 90-180 days after planting. They grow like spirals along their thick stalks. Each stalk can produce 2-3 pounds of sprouts.
- BS are part of the Cruciferae family along with broccoli, kale, cabbage, bok choy and other leafy greens. The family names comes from the shape of their flowers which resembles a cross. Almost all leafy greens are consider SUPER foods. They’re loaded with fiber and calcium and are said to prevent cancer. For maximum nutrition BS should be steamed for 3-5 minutes.
- Cabbage in español is repollo. Many times in spanish they add the ending -ito to signify a smaller version. Therefor, repollito translates to small cabbage.
- The BS in U.S.A. is a 27 million dollar industry, and over 80% is sold in the frozen food markets. Not cool…..