Flavors of Fall ~ Brussels Sprouts

Please give today’s thoughts a fair chance before you shake your head and say “No way.” I don’t think there was a vegetable I found more repulsive as a child than the Brussels sprouts, not even peas. Of course, you will remember back then they were served boiled, salted, and buttered. {Shiver} See, now I have you listening.

Last fall something happened that changed my perspective on the little nuggets. I went to visit Tammy and Mike and we went to a lovely restaurant near their home in Arlington. Lyon Hall is a charming eatery in Clarendon, VA http://lyonhallarlington.com/. They make food that is fresh and flavorful with an atmosphere of understated elegance. On this visit they were honoring the seasonal flavors and had roasted Brussels sprouts on the menu.

Being a little skeptical, I ordered the dish. I have to admit that I was thinking, “It’s ok. If I don’t like them, Mike will eat them.” With the very first bite, I didn’t want to share. (But of course I did.) I learned a very important piece of information in that first bite: it is all in the preparation. Now mind you, there was nothing fancy about these vegetables, but instead of the distasteful boiled veggie of my youth, the restaurant had roasted them. Let me say that again. They roasted them.

As is my habit, I went home and had to try to repeat this dish. I ate more Brussels sprouts in one season that most people have probably eaten in a lifetime. Of course, I read about my new and (at that point) favorite vegetable. And I admit it – I couldn’t get enough.

I roasted them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I roasted them in butter. I added bacon. I couldn’t find a recipe that I didn’t like, as long as the sprouts were roasted. Then I found that when pan sautéed, the sprouts are caramelized and the flavor is delicious that way as well.

Here are a few recipes to get you started:

… and …

It is Friday and I know that there are two Farmer’s Markets in my area. Look around at yours and add Brussels sprouts to your shopping list. As for me, the first Brussels sprouts of the season are already in my kitchen. Time to go make lunch! Have a happy, healthy, and delicious FALL weekend. See you back here on Monday!

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