Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassica family of vegetables and are closely related to broccoli and cabbage. They are thought to be native to present-day Belgium, specifically, the region surrounding the city of Brussels from which they get their name. Today, Brussels sprouts are cultivated throughout Europe and the United States.
Brussels sprouts are a very healthy vegetable and a good source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are also rich in folate and vitamin A. Brussels sprouts can be prepared in a variety of ways including boiling, baking, and steaming.
Baking is one common way to prepare Brussels sprouts. Regardless of the recipe, it is important never to overcook Brussels sprouts. Overcooking can cause Brussels sprouts to release the glucosinolate sinigrin, a Phytochemical with a sulfurous odor and taste.
The following is an easy recipe to alter, the seasoning can be adjusted to suit individual tastes or different types of cheeses could be used for variety. Baked Brussels sprouts make a healthy and delicious side dish to a variety of meals.
Selecting Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are typically available year-round, but their peak growing season is between autumn and early spring. Fresh Brussels sprouts should be firm, green, and compact. They should not have any wilted leaves or yellowed areas. Brussels sprouts should keep in the refrigerator for up to ten days. Frozen, they will keep up to one year.
Prepping Brussels Sprouts
To prep Brussels sprouts for baking, the stems and any discolored leaves should first be removed. The Brussels sprouts should then be thoroughly washed in a bowl or under running water. It is important to remove any dirt from under the top layer of leaves. Brussels sprouts are generally cooked whole. For this reason, a deep X should be cut in the bottom of each Brussels sprout in order to allow the heat to penetrate and cook them thoroughly.
Baking Brussels Sprouts
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup butter, sliced into thin pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) Arrange prepped Brussels sprouts in a single layer in a casserole dish, then arrange the pieces of butter on top. Top with salt, pepper, garlic, and lemon juice. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven and add the grated Parmesan. Continue to bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and the Brussels sprouts are just tender.