Remember when you were a kid and the two things you hated to eat were probably spinach and brussels sprouts? If you are like me that was certainly the case. However, recently I have become reacquainted with that most hated vegetable and found that I really love brussels sprouts! In addition to tasting great, they also offer many health benefits and tons of nutritional value.
Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and are excellent sources of folate and dietary fiber. They are also rich in magnesium and phytochemicals known as carotenoids and glucosinolates, which form the disease fighting compounds isothiocyantates and indoles. All of these vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals are important components of a healthy, cancer-fighting diet.
Cooking Brussels sprouts couldn’t be easier. For maximum nutritional value, it is best to steam, microwave, sauté or stir fry. Roasting and baking are also great ways to bring out great caramelized flavor. They can be enjoyed cold in salads, but it is best to blanch or steam first to improve flavor.
The following recipe is one of our favorites; we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do!
- 1 lb medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, then crosswise
- 1 lb medium parsnips, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise 1 lb turnips, peeled, halved, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
- 1 1/4 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
- 6 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 3/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce) 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
- 1 Tbsp finely grated lemon peel
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss carrots, parsnips, turnips, and brussels sprouts in large bowl with 3 tablespoons oil. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender, tossing often, about 1 hour. Transfer vegetables to large platter; cool.
- Using on/off turns, chop pecans in processor until coarsely ground. Transfer ground pecans to small bowl; stir in grated cheese, parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon peel, garlic, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season gremolata to taste with salt. Drizzle vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Sprinkle gremolata over vegetables just before serving.