I think I’ve seen more recipes lately for America’s least popular side than any other vegetable, which is rather odd, if you think about it. The food bloggers of the world are united in their desire to increase the mileage of these cute little leafy green crucifers, it would seem. I can get behind the Brussel Sprout wagon with gusto. Before I proceed, though, I must explain how in England we call them Brussel Sprouts and in America we call them Brussels Sprouts. That extra ‘s’ at the end of Brussel gives me all kinds of heartburn. So please forgive me if I leave the ‘s’ off. I am certain we all know to what I am referring.
I have always loved brussels. We ate them regularly in England, and Sunday roasts were always more special, somehow, with a dozen of them rolling around my plate. But, after having my first few forkfuls of them on this side of the pond, I quickly understood why many Americans are not so keen. If you’ve only ever had sprouts that grew before the first frost – you got off to a rough start. And then, if your sprouts were boiled to the very edge of death, they were certainly long past any possibility of sweetness. Once mushy, grey-green oblivion has been reached in the rolling waters of the pan, bitterness is all you would have left. Now we’re headlong into winter though – and I can attest to a first frost or two, at least in Washington State – those brussels will be sweet and scrumptious.
I will happily eat a whole plateful of steamed sprouts au naturel, but I realize that most folks who’ve had a scary sprout experience will almost certainly opt to ease their way back into that pool. If bacon is your thing, you could dip your toe in by starting here. Or, if you’re feeling brave and already have your water wings, try these. Alternatively, you could just start right now with this recipe. I can imagine the wine might help with the easing you in part.
This recipe started life as a pet way to a quick and easy leek-fest. The other day, while I was musing about ways to inveigle folks into giving the small green spheres another shot, the whole leek and wine recipe popped into my mind. How could brussels not be fabulous mixed with the finest vegetable on earth and a splash of fermented grape juice?
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 3 oz / 85g leeks, very finely sliced
- 10 oz. / 280g bag shaved brussel sprouts
- 1/2 cup / 4 fl oz. white wine
- 1 TBSP poppy seeds
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- In a skillet, saute leeks in coconut oil until just tender.
- Stir in the shaved brussel sprouts, white wine, poppy seeds, lemon juice and salt.
- Turn heat to high, and stirring constantly cook for 4 minutes - the sprouts will be bright green, and barely tender.
- Turn heat to low and continue cooking for 1 minute.