091127_brusselsproutsI’m a lucky girl. My boyfriend has an open mind about trying new foods, even vegetables, and I never need to persuade him to sample my latest concoction. He’ll even go out on his own and try to cook something new, like the Brussels sprouts in season right now. I give him credit for trying, though his attempt at Brussels sprouts left him asking me the question: There’s got to be a way to make this vegetable taste good.

I’m sure every kid ever faced with a helping of Brussels sprouts never imagined that they could, in fact, be made to taste GOOD. I love Brussels sprouts steamed with a little salt and butter, but I can see how they are an acquired taste for many. This recipe is like a subdued yet tangy sauerkraut flecked with pungent little caraway seeds. The scent that wafts from the oven reminds me of a Jewish deli. I’m proud to say that these Brussels sprouts are boyfriend-approved, though I have yet to try them out on any kids. If you get a thumbs up please let me know in the comments. Kids are tough critics when it comes to veggies!

Tips for prepping the Brussels sprouts: Pick small, tightly closed sprouts for the best flavor. I remove the tougher outer leaves and then trim down the stem end. You’ll end up with a more tender end-product that way.

Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Adapted from New Vegetarian Cuisine
Serves 4 as a side dish
Total time: 45 minutes, though 35 minutes are hands-off

24 small Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup raisins
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds (don’t skip, they make the dish)

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the sprouts and remove any tough or raggedy outer leaves. Trim the stem ends. Cut each sprout in half and place in a baking dish.
  2. Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the sprouts in the baking dish and stir around to coat.
  3. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and return the dish to the oven to bake for 10 more minutes, or until the sauce reduces and becomes slightly thick.

091127_sproutinfoIf you can get your family to eat Brussels sprouts, you should congratulate yourself. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and provide a good dose of vitamin A, calcium, iron and fiber.