No longer the vegetable of your childhood nightmares, Brussels sprouts are taking the food world by storm.
Coined the new kale, Brussels sprouts are both highly versatile and unquestionably nutritious. They’re low in fat and sodium, high in vitamin C, folic acid, iron, and fibre, and are even thought to prevent cancer by increasing DNA repair. Brussels sprouts are like a sturdy blank canvas; they round out the background of any food creation while still maintaining their distinct texture and architecture. They can be showcased in a salad, sing backup in a meat-based entree, or be tucked behind a curtain of complex flavours in a hearty stew. Whether steamed, boiled, braised, sauteed, roasted, or even eaten raw, they’re definitely something to look out for this fall at your favourite farmer’s market.
The Industry in Ontario
- As of 2011, there were 41 Brussels sprouts farms in the Greenbelt, with a total of 76 acres dedicated to Brussels sprouts production.
- The principal commercial variety sold is Jade E.
- Other commercial varieties sold in Ontario include Lunet, Oliver, Silverstar YT, and Valiant.
Purchase and Storage
- When buying Brussels sprouts, look for dense and firm heads, with unwilted leaves and no sign of yellowing. Small, bright green Brussels are the most flavourful!
- Store the Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator crisper for up to 2 weeks. Keep the Brussels wrapped in a cloth or towel and sealed in a plastic bag.
Easy Ways of Serving
- Roast halved Brussels sprouts at a high heat until tender, and then season them with maple syrup and mustard seed.
- Thinly slice Brussels sprouts into a salad with any other fresh vegetables you happen to have around, and then drizzle with lemon-honey vinaigrette.
- Gently saute halved Brussels sprouts in butter and garlic until golden, and then season with freshly grated Parmesan.
- Roast Brussels sprouts with onions and cauliflower, and then toss into pasta with olive oil and a few sprigs of thyme.
- Toss Brussels sprouts into any stew or soup a few minutes before serving; they should be cooked all the way through, but still slightly crunchy.