Unsung Vegetables

Two of my favorite vegetables are some of the most under appreciated, unsung heroes of the vegetable world. The first is the Brussels Sprout. This adorable miniature cabbage has a history of being despised by children across the nation. I have never understood the Brussels Sprout hate. It tastes very similar to cabbage and its miniature. I love things in miniature. They’re pretty simple and quick to cook. Plus they’re delicious!

My other favorite is the parsnip. I have probably waxed poetic about the parsnip before, but I really cannot sing its praises enough. Most people I know have never eaten a parsnip. They’re amazing. Similar to carrots who get all the attention, parsnips have a much more complex flavor: sweeter and yet a little spicy. I prefer them roasted or in a hearty vegetable stew with some barley. Yum.

This post is devoted in particular to the Brussels Sprout. I just received the How to Cook Everything book by Mark Bitman *kneels to Mark Bitman* for my birthday and I am in love. I found three recipes I wanted to try for a dinner last week: braised Brussels Sprouts, Autumn Millet Bake (also featured in this entry), and braised carrots (I added parsnips).

The braised Brussels Sprouts were delicious. The autumn millet bake was not a success (I will further detail this) and the braised carrots and parsnips were alright but I wouldn’t use that recipe again.

Braised and Brussels Sprouts

Recipe Courtesy of How To Cook Everything by Mark Bitman

  • 3 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil (I used butter)
  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, water, or white wine (I used vegetable stock)
  • salt and ground pepper

1. Combine the butter, Brussels sprouts, and stock in a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and adjust the heat to the mixture simmers; cook until the sprouts are just tender, 5 to 10 minutes, checking once or twice and adding liquid as needed.

2. Uncover and raise the heat to boil off all the liquid so that the vegetables beocme glazed and eventually browned. Resist the urge to stir them frequently; just let them sizzle until golden and crisp then shake the pan and loosen them to roll them over. It’s okay if some sides are more well done than others. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve hot or at room temperature.




2 responses to “Unsung Vegetables

  1. I LOVE brussel sprouts too! Never had a parsnip though- will get on that when you post a good parsnip recipe.

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