Brussels Sprouts! How to Pick, Cook, and Eat Them

Ingredient Spotlight

The time for Brussels sprouts is nigh, my friends! If you are a fellow lover of these diminutive green globes, then this is cause to celebrate. And if you are not, that's fine—I'll have your portion. I'll be having Brussels sprouts roasted, pan-seared, steamed, and hashed from now until they disappear into from market shelves.

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 Tips:
How to Store Brussels Sprouts
Core Sprouts with a Vegetable Peeler
Keep Brussels Sprouts Green with a Bath

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?

Related: Make the Most of Any Fall Vegetables: 5 Essential Staples

(Image: Emma Christensen)