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Monday, January 16, 2012

For the Love of Brussel Sprouts

Most people cringe when one mentions brussel sprouts.  Thoughts of a greyish, mushy vegetable that has been boiled for hours and has a smell of dirty socks comes to mind.  But I have to admit, I LOVE brussel sprouts.  I first started eating them around 10 years ago.  Now keep in mind, growing up my idea of vegetables were french fries, potatoes, peas, corn and cole slaw.  Yes, I grew on the East Coast where it seems that most entrees were accompanied by one of the above side dishes.  I was skeptical at first when I was asked to prepare them for a meal one day. I had never heard of this strange, funny looking vegetable that grows on some type of a stalk.  I scanned the internet for recipes and found one that combined the sprouts with bacon. How could you go wrong when something is mixed with bacon, right?  After trying a few others recipes I created my own.  Nothing extravagant but decidedly delicious!

Cut the ends of the sprouts them cut them length wise.
Add olive oil to the pan.
Next set the sprouts cut side down in the pan and fry a few minutes.  I like to get a caramelization on mine before adding thyme and a bit of nutmeg.  Season with salt and pepper.  Viola! Taste-y little morsels to go with any meal.

Here's a bit of history on brussel sprouts curtesy of Wikipedia.
  Brussels sprouts as we now know them were grown possibly as early as the 13th century in what is now Belgium.[2] The first written reference dates to 1587.[2] During the 16th century, they enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe.  Production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began in the 18th century, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana.[3] Thomas Jefferson grew them atMonticello.[1] The first plantings in California's Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s. Currently there are several thousand acres planted in coastal areas of San MateoSanta Cruz, and Monterey Counties of California, which offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round. The harvest season lasts from June through January.[

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