Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Stalking Brussels Sprouts

Stalking: pursue or approach stealthily.  If I told you this was my approach in the grocery store, would you be surprised?  While I always go to the store with a list, I do admit to the occasional stalking session.  It's not my fault entirely, because I feel as though I get seduced.  It usually occurs in the produce department, where displays of luscious fruit and deep dark greens draw me in, twist my arm, and hop into my basket.  This also occurs in the chocolate aisle, but we'll save that for another day.  (That aisle involves less stalking, more casualties).  I understand there's a method at work, the placement of sale items greeting me as I walk in the door, the little necessities conveniently placed within arms reach while I wait in the checkout line.  I'm sure there's some supermarket psychology game plan I fall victim to each and every time.  I show more restraint in the clothing department, but when it comes to food, I'm an easy target.   Today was the day of the Brussels sprouts.  I came across this giant stalk, stealthily moving towards it like a predator, and just shy of pouncing on it, whisked it away and lost my list.

Brussels sprouts are delicious and I'm going to prove it to you.  Don't forget about the glorious cruciferous varieties this fall, especially while they are in season.  A powerful anti-cancer super food, Brussels sprouts look like mini cabbages of sorts and taste similar too.  Maybe you've been ignoring them, or maybe you haven't been preparing them in a way that suits your taste buds.  Roasting Brussels sprouts in olive oil and balsamic vinegar gives them a deep and dark crusty exterior.  Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this is a no fail way to work Brussels sprouts into your oven and onto your table.  Give them a chance.  Before you reach for that same vegetable that's on your own shopping list, be adventurous.  Let the produce lure you in, start stalking, and let go of the list.  I rarely stick to my own shopping list, (hence the giant Brussels sprout stalk), and often discover something new in the process.  The more variety the better.  True with vegetables, and also true in life.     

~Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe~

1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a few pinches of sea salt and grinds of pepper 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Pull the Brussels sprouts away from the stalk, also removing any visible yellow outer leafs.  You'll want to cut the tough end off the Brussels sprouts before cutting them in half, lengthwise.  In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper.  Add the Brussels sprouts to bowl, using your hands or a large spoon to coat and combine.  Spread the Brussels sprouts onto a single layer on a sheet pan.  You can also add an additional sprinkle of sea salt at this point.  Roast for 45 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are caramelized.

Guess who else likes to stalk the stalk...?  


Sue/the view from great island said...

Loooooove Brussels Sprouts...is that weird? I get the impression I'm not in the majority. I'm so impressed by your stalk, the ones they've been selling at our farmer's market have been puny and $$$$$.
Did your dog eventually go for his new 'bone'?

Stephanie said...

Not weird at all but you're right. Lots of people don't like them. I found this one at Trader Joe's for cheap. Haha he did go for his new bone. He would have eaten the whole thing if I wasn't careful.

Anonymous said...

This is my favorite way to eat brussel sprouts! Something about balsamic flavors when they're roasted... mmm. Haha and I'm the same way in the grocery store. I'm hopeless. I go in with a list and leave with a million things I don't "need" but that are so fun and intriguing.

PS: I love your shirt/sweater thing, if that's you in that first picture!

Boi Polloi said...

I also love brussels sprouts. I seriously need to find some in my area, but they're so pricey in the store.

Stephanie said...

Haha thanks Amy. It is me...apparently I now love to pose with oversized vegetables in my yard ;)

Clair said...

I've been eating Brussels sprouts my whole life and only discovered this year at the farmer's market that they grow on a stalk like that! I think I had imagined each one growing alone, like a little cabbage. Silly.

Cute pooch!

Stephanie said...

Haha you're not alone Clair! Isn't it funny when you see it in full form like that? Thanks for stopping by :)

kyleen said...

Mhmm I actually like brussel sprouts, especially with brown butter. And I stalk fruit/vegetable/dairy/chocolate too. I might stop by the supermarket with my mom just to grab a carton of eggs or milk. But while we're trailing along to the back of the store to the dairy section, we pass by all the produce and shelves... Grocery stores are just so manipulative that way.