I grew three brussels sprouts plants this year — they take a lot of room in the garden, and they’re really slow, and frankly, I wasn’t sure they were worth the time or the space. It’s been cold — small freezes on and off for six weeks or so, but last weekend when the weather said a real cold spell was coming in, I went out in the near darkness to pick my brussels sprouts.
I grew them in part because when I lived in New York City in my 20s, I loved watching the little boys carry their spikes of brussels sprouts home from the Union Square Greenmarket — they always turned them into swords, and it seemed like that was a cool way to get your kids to eat their greens.
But they’re kind of a pain. And picking them is sort of a pain — the little sprouts hide under the big cabbage-y leaves. Tonight though, I was making a quicky dinner — a little salmon, some rice, and I wanted something green. Since I was doing the salmon in my cast iron skillet in a hot oven, I thought I’d just roast the sprouts first. So I cut a handfull of them in half, tossed them in olive oil, and threw them in the hot skillet, cut side down, for about ten minutes. Then I flipped them over, put the hunk of salmon in the same skillet, skin side down, and kept roasting it all.
Yummy! The sprouts got all carmelized on the outside, and were creamy and delicious inside. Salty, slightly burned in a good way, and out of my garden.