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In Season Now: Brussels Sprouts

Chef Todd English, restaurateur, TV personality and cookbook author, is quoted as saying during a TV appearance, “Brussels sprouts are misunderstood — probably because most people don’t know how to cook them properly.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Overcooked Brussels sprouts are unpleasant and bitter, and are the reason some people cringe at the thought of eating this vegetable. When that’s the only way you’ve had them, you don’t know how good they can be. But well-cooked Brussels sprouts are a delight worthy of cravings and enjoyment.

I urge you: give them another chance.

This cruciferous vegetable, which grows on thick stalks throughout summer before being ready for harvest in the fall, can be steamed or boiled, but if you want to enhance the flavor then sauteing or roasting Brussels sprouts is the way to go. Roasting, as English went on to explain, allows Brussels sprouts to caramelize and develop a lovely, subtle but clear sweetness.

They are also delightful served raw and shredded in salads.

High in fiber, the little round balls of leaves are sometimes referred to as mini cabbages by those who aren’t in the know. They aren’t though — in fact, they are more closely related to broccoli.

If you’re using ones from a stalk, just twist and pull to separate them from the stalk. Then proceed with the recipe. It’s super easy.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Andouille Sausage and Apricots

Serves 4

4 cups halved Brussels sprouts

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup finely diced andouille sausage

½ cup finely diced dried apricots

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Spread the Brussels sprouts on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until browned and slightly tender.

Add the andouille sausage and apricots to the pan and stir to mix. Whisk together the maple syrup and mustard. Drizzle over the Brussels sprouts mixture and toss to combine. Roast for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the sausage is lightly browned on one side.

Serve hot.

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