I’m sure we will have Brussels sprouts from time to time in the next couple of months although they are a little early this year due to the intense heat of this summer.
The sprouts can be prepared in a great variety of ways from simple to complex.
Always begin by trimming the bottoms and marking an X on the bottom with a knife point. Remove any damaged leaves. Drop the sprouts into boiling salted water. Blanch for two minutes, starting the clock after the water returns to a rolling boil. Plunge the sprouts into ice water after the boil for 2 minutes. Brussels sprouts should remain firm with a little crunch.
Cut the sprouts in half from top to bottom. For large sprouts cut into quarters. For the simplest preparation, reheat the blanched sprouts in butter, and season with minced herbs (parsley, thyme, minced rosemary and sage go well), salt and pepper.
Take a little more time and create a colorful presentation. Blanch the Brussels sprouts for an extra couple of minutes. When they are chilled in the ice water carefully remove the leaves as you would for a head of iceberg lettuce. When you are ready to serve the sprouts, reheat the leaves in butter and season well. Add some herbs and a couple of tablespoons of toasted nuts that have been minced very fine. Or if you prefer, use crumbled crispy bacon instead of nuts.
One of my favorite wats to serve sprouts is a pasta tossed with Brussels sprouts, cream and fresh thyme leaves.
Boil the cream in a non-stick saute pan. Reduce to a thick, sauce consistency. Add the Brussels sprout leaves and some fresh thyme. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss with cooked whole wheat pasta.