Named after the capital of Belgium, where they may have first been cultivated, Brussels sprouts look like tiny heads of cabbage. And the resemblance should come as no surprise since both belong to the same botanical family.
Care & Handling
Choose Brussels sprouts that are fresh in appearance with a uniform green color, firm texture and compact leaves.
Do not wash or trim sprouts before storing them. If you have purchased sprouts in a cellophane-covered container, take off the wrapping and examine the sprouts, then return them to the container, re-cover with the cellophane, and refrigerate. Place loose sprouts in a perforated plastic bag. Fresh Brussels sprouts will keep for 3 - 5 days.
Rinse the sprouts in fresh water. Trim the stems ends, but not quite flush with the bottoms of the sprouts, or the outer leaves will fall off during cooking. Remove any loose or discolored leaves. Large sprouts can be cut in half or an “X” may be cut into the end of the stem to help the heat penetrate the solid core so that it cooks as quickly as the leaves. Test for doneness by inserting a knife tip into the stem end. The stem end will be just slightly tender when done.
Nutrition & Health Benefits:
The golf ball-sized sprouts are low in the not-so-good stuff (fat, cholesterol and sodium) and high in the really-good-for-you stuff (Vitamins C & D and fiber), and make a terrific side dish for almost any entrée.