People were cooking Brussels sprouts long before they showed up on every single gastropub menu in town, paired with bacon and often so over-cooked you'd need to be drunk to eat them. But just because somebody decided the vegetables were impossibly hip doesn't mean you have to boycott them. Maybe pick up some very good ones from the farmers market, ideally still attached to the stalk, and rehabilitate them instead. Because there's a reason that they're on a lot of menus, with or without IPAs and hamburgers: They're damn good, especially if you cook them properly.
A. Scattergood Brussels sprouts
They're also great this time of year, paired with large roasted birds, piled high in a huge bowl for a nice bit of green on a table that often doesn't have enough of it. Brussels sprouts are cold weather vegetables, thus they're in their prime this time of year. And not only are they flavorful enough to stand up to robust components, they're very pretty too. Take them off the stalk and they resemble tiny green cabbages; the French call them choux de bruxelles, or Brussels cabbages which, if you think about it, makes a lot more sense than calling them sprouts.
The strong cabbagey flavor of Brussels sprouts remains very pleasant if you don't overcook them, and its a flavor that matches well with bold and acidic notes, like mustard and yes, bacon. If you need some more ideas, here are five Brussels sprouts recipes that might help you out.More »