Before we get started, let’s get one thing straight: this post is NOT an April Fool’s day prank; I can — and will — declare my love for Brassica Oleracea any day. Per Wikipedia, the name derives from the original cultivation in Belgium, beginning as early as the 13th century. (Proving their timelessness!) They are part of the same family as cabbage, thus their mini-cabbage appearance, which admittedly makes them pretty damn cute. Brussels are super healthy for you, chock full of vitamins A, C and folic acid plus a plethora of other healthful compounds.
I didn’t eat sprouts as a child, so I’ve never had some memory of a mushy mess holding me back from an appreciation. I started eating sprouts about 7 or 8 years ago, and I’ve never looked back. Primarily, I roast these in the oven, dressed simply in olive oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice. I’ve also made other dressings and toppings, always keeping the sprouts as the main star, but my preparation hasn’t strayed far from roasting . . . until now. Courtesy of the amazing cookbook (no hyperbole, truly amazing) Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, I have a new means to enjoy them: Brussels Sprouts and Tofu. This recipe is quick and simple, and involves searing the sprouts until crisp and browned. Using my well-seasoned cast-iron pans, these became almost carmelized with a sweetness and crunch I’ve never achieved from roasting. I was stuck in a preparation rut and now I’ve seen what I’ve been missing.
A lot of my cooking involves just that, cooking. I improvise often and my measuring cups are mostly saved for baking. What I appreciate about actually following a recipe is that it gives you an example of how things can work, knowledge which you can then add to your existing repertoire. The tofu/sprouts recipe was excellent, but what stood out to me was all of the options expanding upon this concept. And that is what cooking is all about: experimentation. I’m taking my sprouts recipes to the next level!