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We’re going through a bit of a phase over here… it’s all about Brussels sprouts. I think we’ve gone through about 7 pounds of them in the last 2 weeks.

As far as I can tell, Brussels sprouts are delicious any way you make them. Except, apparently, for the way that everyone’s mom used to make them back in the day. Excessive boiling perhaps?–I am blissfully ignorant. So this post is mainly directed at the old people (ahem, wise and experienced people) I know who wrinkle their noses at the idea of Brussels sprouts.

One of the best things about Brussels sprouts is that you don’t have to do anything fancy to bring out their sweet nutty flavor and unique texture. These recipes have more bang for the buck (where a “buck” is measured in time and effort) than most of my other standby recipes. So there’s nothing to stop you from making some. RIGHT NOW! Without further ado, here are 5 ideas to get you started:

1. Cream-braised Brussels sprouts, from Orangette. These MELT IN YOUR MOUTH. I also make this recipe with regular green cabbage, the way it is in Molly’s cookbook (which I recommend not only for the cabbage recipe, but also for the way it makes you want to run out and make a really interesting salad).

2. Pasta with Hashed Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts, also from Orangette. If you have a food processor with a slicer disk, you have no excuse to not make this for dinner tonight.

3. Roasted Brussels sprouts with capers, walnuts, and anchovies, from this month’s Food and Wine. Brad especially liked this one, most likely because of the mustard and anchovies. It was easy to make, but the result was really interesting (and addictive). My only note on the recipe would be to go easy on the salt when you’re roasting the sprouts and making the dressing: the capers and anchovies will make it very salty later.

4. Simmered Brussels sprouts with lemon (recipe below). Back when How to Cook Everything was my only cookbook and I had never even tasted Brussels sprouts, let alone cooked them, this was the first recipe I tried. It’s dead simple, but I was hooked right away.

5. Roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and cauliflower (recipe below). I made this one up last night to feed my craving for roasted fall vegetables. I won’t say my mind was blown, but it was pretty tasty for the very minimal effort we put into it.

Recipes after the jump.

Simmered Brussels sprouts with lemon
(adapted from How to Cook Everything)

1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
juice from half a lemon (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you’re waiting, trim the Brussels sprouts: pull off any loose outer leaves and remove the stems. Salt the boiling water, then add the sprouts and boil until just tender, about 10 minutes. (Do not overcook! Err on the side of undercooking, and then sauté them a little longer in the next step.) When the sprouts are done, drain the pot and then refill it with cold water, then drain again. (This is to stop the sprouts from cooking.)

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the garlic. When the butter foam subsides, add the sprouts, bread crumbs, and pine nuts. Stir until heated through, about 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.

Makes about 4 servings as a side dish.

Roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and cauliflower

2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1 medium butternut squash (about 2-2.5 pounds)
1 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon good mustard (Brad made ours!)
1 tablespoon honey
Grated gruyère or parmesan, or crumbled goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Trim the Brussels sprouts: pull off any loose outer leaves and cut off the stems. Then cut each sprout in half. Peel the butternut squash and cut the flesh into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut the cauliflower into small florets (about the same size as your sprouts and squash pieces).

In a large roasting pan, toss the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the rosemary and thyme, and salt and pepper. (I used my turkey roasting pan, but if you don’t have anything that big you could divide the vegetables between two rimmed baking sheets.) Roast the vegetables for about 40 minutes, until tender and a bit brown, stirring halfway through.

Meanwhile, make the dressing: shake in a jar (or whisk in a bowl) the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, mustard, and honey, and salt and pepper to taste.

When the vegetables are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes, then scoop them into a large bowl. Toss with the dressing, and serve topped with the cheese.

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