Well chosen and cooked properly, Brussels sprouts have a mild flavor and gorgeous green color. And when you can get your hands on some still on the stalk they make a great conversation piece, as well as a delicious dish. My parents brought two stalks from Trader Joe’s in Virginia Beach to my home in Bristol as a New Year’s gift. They know we love them and who can resist these cute green balls on the plate?
In my excitement to prepare the sprouts, I badly cut the index finger on my left hand. I am pleased to report that the sprouts were unharmed and the blood washed right off. My finger is nearly healed now and the sprouts are a delicious memory. For people who still have bad childhood memories of overcooked sprouts that started from frozen, I urge you to look for the fresh ones. It is harder to find ones on the stalk, but some local stores carry fresh Brussels sprouts in the winter. They are high in fiber, folic acid and vitamins C and K.
Here’s one of my favorite ways to fix them, and how we quickly dispatched two large stalks over two days:
Brussels sprouts with bacon and mushrooms
One pound sprouts trimmed, washed; cut largest ones in half
2-3 slices bacon
Small can sliced mushrooms, drained
Salt and pepper
1 cup water or chicken stock
Cook the bacon over medium heat in a 5-quart stock pot with a lid. When bacon is crispy, remove and drain on paper towels. Add the sprouts to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the sprouts to brown slightly. Add the water or chicken stock, salt and pepper, mushrooms; stir thoroughly to combine. Cover and cook about 5-7 minutes more. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Serves about 6.