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Brussels Sprouts

Cabbages are a special treat when they come in miniature little heads! Don't let Brussels sprouts' diminutive size fool you though—they're jam packed with taste and nutrition, including vitamins C, K, A, B6, omega-3s, iron, folic acid, even protein. Hearty growers, they prefer cool weather and produce for months on end. Pair them with onions or shallots, a good feta or goat cheese, and some freshly ground black pepper. Add them to stews, or even salads.

Flavor Profile

  • Taste similar to cabbage, but milder
  • Texture is a little denser than cabbage

How to Choose a Good One

  • Look for firm, compact sprouts
  • Choose those with vivid green color, with no yellow or wilted leaves
  • Purchase sprouts of equal size so that they'll cook evenly
  • Store unwashed in plastic bag in refrigerator crisper for three to five days—though the taste is best in the first day or two
  • Can be blanched and frozen for up to a year

Peak Season

  • Autumn to early spring, though available year round
  • In California, June through January
  • In Mexico, December through June
  • Grow best in cool weather

Nutritional Highlights

  • Excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K
  • Very good source of folate, vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin
  • Good source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, protein, magnesium, riboflavin, vitamin E, copper and calcium
  • Unlike most vegetables, Brussels sprouts are high in protein

General Use

  • Boil, steam, roast or microwave
  • Soups and stews
  • Casseroles
  • Side dishes
  • Salads
  • Grain dishes

Complements

  • Red onions, lemon, shallots
  • Walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts
  • Feta cheese, goat cheese, cheddar cheese
  • Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, butter, Dijon mustard
  • Maple syrup
  • Bacon
  • Salt, black pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, basil
  • Pancetta
  • Capers
  • Raisins, currants
  • Shallots