Brussels sprouts season runs from late-September through February or so. They are best picked after the first hard frost in your area since sprouts react to cold temperatures by producing sugars. Frost usually happens sooner out in farmland areas than in urban areas, so ask the farmer before buying.
Pick Brussels sprouts that feel tightly compacted and hard when you squeeze them. Smaller sprouts tend to be sweeter-tasting, while larger sprouts are more cabbage-like. Sprouts are equally good whether you buy them on or off of the stem, and they will keep for several weeks in the fridge.
To prepare them, trim off the dry part of the stem at the base of the sprout and any loose outer leaves. You can leave the sprouts whole, slice them in half, or even shred them for a salad or hash. My absolute most-favorite way to prepare them is to toss them with salt and olive oil and then roast them in a hot oven until the cut edges turn golden and the outer leaves become crispy. So good.
Take a look at these posts for some more info on buying and preparing sprouts:
Brussels Sprout Recipes:
• Roasted Brussels Sprouts
• Thai-Style Brussels Sprouts
• Hashed Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Fried Capers
• Pasta with Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pancetta
• Last-Minute Appetizer: Crispy Brussels Sprouts Chips
What are your favorite ways to eat Brussels sprouts?
(Image: Emma Christensen)