As we age, our taste buds change and fall in love with flavors and foods we may have despised in our younger years. We acquire a taste for harsher, complex flavors like bleu cheese, green olives, and even pungent alcohols like scotch that may have been off-putting even during young adulthood. Brussels sprouts, however, are not just an acquired love but one that yields a beneficial relationship.
Known as the dreaded green vegetable side dish by many, the truth is their tastiness and healthfulness comes out only when cooked just right. Like spinach, Brussels sprouts serve the body best when slightly cooked, allowing specific fibers unique to the spout to help with digestion, the prevention of cancer and the protection of white blood cells and DNA. Furthermore, Brussels sprouts work as a natural detoxification for the body, providing the necessary glucosinolates to strengthen the immune system and supply the ample amounts of sulfur needed to detoxify the body. Low in calories and high in nearly every vitamin, Brussels sprouts are the definition of a superfood.
They are a spring and early summer vegetable, planted just after the last frost of the winter months and growing slowly through the warmer months. Thankfully, they are not just limited to Belgium, their namesake, but are commonly grown in California, Washington State, Ontario and even Long Island, seasons rotating of course. Taking advantage of vegetables that are not only seasonal, but local is an important part of conscious eating.
Just because they’re healthy doesn’t mean they cannot be enjoyed. Think of their benefits as a bonus to any meal, instead of a necessary source of your daily vitamin intake. It is certainly okay to enjoy them in ways that enhance their taste, instead of just steamed and plain. Incorporating them into your diet is a fantastic way to appreciate a new vegetable you needn’t neglect.
Here’s a recipe that’s quick, delicious and surprisingly simple…
Linguine with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Lemon Buerre Blanc Recipe
|Calories:||780 per serving|
|Prep Time:||20 mins|
|Cook Time:||15 mins|
|Total Time:||35 mins|
- 1 box linguine
- 1/2 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp dry white wine
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche
- 1 cup cold butter, cut into 16 cubes
1. In a pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to instructions, preferably to al dente. Meanwhile, trim sprouts of outer leaves and cut into halves.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice, wine, and shallots to a boil. Continue boiling the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, until it reduces and thickens slightly. Add the creme fraiche to the glaze and boil it for an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add the butter, one cube at a time, allowing each piece of butter to fully dissolve before adding the next one. When the last of butter has just melted, remove the pan from the heat and strain out the shallots, if desired.
4. Toss Brussels sprouts in half to two thirds of the buerre blanc. Line a shallow baking pan with foil and place sprouts in pan. Broil sprouts until crisped on top, stirring every so often about 8 minutes.
5. Drain pasta and put back into the pot. Pour enough buerre blanc over linguine to coat, turn the heat on low and saute for two minutes. Add broiled Brussels sprouts, tossing with pasta and saute another two minutes. Remove from heat, garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley, serving immediately.