Brussel Sprouts

Simple Sides

I have a vague memory of brussels sprouts being my all-time favorite vegetable, yet I only remember eating them once, as a kid.  They weren't something we grew in our garden and I think Mom never bought them, so I don't know why I have this memory of them being something fantastic, but I was eager to give them a try when they came on that big crazy stalk in the bin this week.
I used my tried and true old faithful cookbook, Joy of Cooking, looking for a very basic recipe and it suggested I start out by soaking them in salted water for 10 minutes.  I don't know exactly what that did, but I did it anyway.  Then I cut cross gashes in the stem ends (presumably to help them cook more evenly-which they did).
So I added a stalk's worth to boiling water and let them simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.  The uncovered part is important, as they can put off a great stink if they're left to their own devices.
Once they were tender crisp (not overcooked!) I drained them, added butter and minced shallot to the pan and let that fry up for a bit before adding the sprouts back in and tossing them about.  Finally, I added some bread crumbs for crunch and texture and tossed it all together before serving.

The bread crumbs were nice, but it was the butter and onion flavour that made this a pretty good side dish.  My usual veggie monsters weren't super keen on them, but Mark and I thought they were pretty good.  I think my only change would be that next time I would half or quarter the bigger sprouts so they would cook more evenly with the smaller ones.   - From Sally's Real Food Blog