I never really ate Brussels sprouts as a child, not that I had many opportunities. My parents didn’t serve them, which I suspect was because they didn’t enjoy Brussels sprouts themselves. (We did enjoy a fair number of Cheetos and Nutty Bars, though. Hmm.) Anyway, I was looking for a green vegetable to go with some pasta and I desperately needed to break out of my green bean rut, so I decided to try the Brussels Sprouts Vinaigrette recipe from the November 2006 issue of Everyday Food. My decision was partially influenced by the fact that one of my Texas friends loves Brussels sprouts, so I figured they might be something I would really enjoy as an adult.
This recipe is super simple; I just needed to steam the Brussels sprouts, mix up a vinaigrette, and toss everything together. Plus, the vinaigrette can be made up to a day ahead of time, which is always a bonus. Since I was just cooking for two, I made a half recipe; double the ingredients if you’re cooking for four.
First, I washed 1 pound of Brussels sprouts in a colander and removed any discolored outer leaves. I also cut a thin slice from the base of each sprout. Next, I put a steamer basket in a large saucepan, brought 1 inch of water to a boil in the saucepan, and then put the Brussels sprouts in the steamer basket. I covered the pan and cooked the sprouts until they were easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife (15 minutes at 5500 feet; it will probably be closer to 10 minutes if you’re at sea level.) I transferred the sprouts to a large bowl of ice water and let them stand until they were cooled (5 minutes).
While the Brussels sprouts cooled, I mixed up the vinaigrette. In a liquid measuring cup, I combined 1/2 tablespoon of whole-grain mustard, 1 tablespoon of white-wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and whisked it to combine.
I drained the cooled sprouts, patted them dry, and cut them lengthwise through the core into quarters. I drizzled the Brussels sprouts with the vinaigrette to serve.
I SO wanted to like this dish. I really, really did! The texture was great – I had steamed them perfectly – but I realized that I just don’t like Brussels sprouts. I would be willing to try them again, but I think the recipe would have to involve bacon or cheese or some other ingredient that would completely negate the healthfulness of eating the Brussels sprouts in the first place. <sigh> I would absolutely try the vinaigrette over steamed broccoli or cauliflower, though.
Funny side note: Dr. O seriously asked me how these sprouts become the sprouts we see on sandwiches. Poor guy thought Brussels sprouts and alfalfa sprouts were the same thing, teehee. Can you tell he cooks often?
Recipe link: Brussels Sprouts Vinaigrette