Itâ€™s Saturday night and my mouth is drooling thinking of what is to come. The steam fills the air with a unique scent noted as a delicacy to the most refined palates. With the oil in one hand, I drizzle the Italian virgin up and down the plump, ripe buds that lie in front of me. Time stops as I place these green gems into my mouth to savor their nutty, robust essence. To think that people could hate such a divine creature such as you!
My love affair climaxed tonight as I dined on â€˜fresh from the stalkâ€™ brussel sprouts. The affair with the brussel sprout began about 4 months ago when I read somewhere that I should be eating two servings of cruciferous vegetables per week. Cruciferous vegetables are plants from the Mustard family, including broccoli, cabbage, bok choi, cauliflower, radish, brussel sprouts and others. I looked at the not so appealing list from which I had to choose. I like cabbage, but it is too hard to store and cook; actually I donâ€™t even know how to cook a cabbage. Radishes are tasteless, cauliflower smells weird, bok choi is hard to find and broccoli, well Iâ€™ve had enough of it. Ergo the brussel sprout.
Originally cultivated in the 16th century in Belgium, the brussel sprout is packed with vitamins and linked to reducing the risk of many cancers. The brussel sprout (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) contains sulforaphane, which in a 2003 study was reported to block the late stages of breast cancer. Why wouldnâ€™t I eat this vegetable I asked myself? Then, as if transported back to my childhood, the smell hit me. Like a flash, both memory and smell surrounded my now dizzy head. I was 8 years old. Stealthily I advanced down the long hall toward the kitchen as to not surprise the wretched intruder from which this odious smell emanated. I reach the kitchen to find myself alone in a room full of noxious, sulphuric steam bellowing from a lone pot on the stove. This was the fetid beast with which I was to duel? The gaseous, rotten, green demon was spinning and boiling furiously in the pot as I turned the stove off. What was this round, limp thing? I rushed to my Mom to ask the name of this creature so as to never encounter such horror again. I found out it was my dinner.
I am sure many people have the rotten egg memory of the brussel sprout overcooked by our loving parents. This in itself is the reason the beloved brussel sprout has been so misrepresented in the minds of so many. The reason they were listed as Britainâ€™s most hated vegetable in 2002. The reason you donâ€™t believe a word I am saying. Ask yourself have you ever really tried a brussel sprout? Perhaps that smell was enough to halt all desire for a taste? Unfortunately, overcooking of the brussel sprout leads to a sulphuric chemical to be released which gives it that unpleasant smell and taste. Depending on the diameter of the sprouts, they only need to be steamed from 3-7 minutes. The bright green color should not fade during cooking; if it has then you have overcooked them.
Fortunately, I gave them a second chance for a relationship. A choice I will never regret. Luckily I bought a frozen bag of petite sprouts and steamed them perfectly my first time; the love affair blossomed. Iâ€™ve never looked back. I like them naked, but a little virgin olive oil and salt or a bit of garlic and a squeeze of a lemon can make them unbelievable. Please I beg of you, try them before you remain stuck in your ways. An unforeseen romance may be waiting for you too. They are a winter vegetable best from late August to March. Remember to buy them fresh in the produce section. They should look bright green, tight and compact. If you are too lazy for that, then buy the petite frozen kind. I love them equally. Peel the outside leaves off the fresh sprout and cut the bottom off. Some people make a cross mark on the bottom to allow it to cook more evenly. Steam petite spouts about 3-5 minutes and larger ones about 6-8 minutes. Stick a fork in one to feel if it is nice and soft throughout. If so, itâ€™s ready. Finish with desired topping. Itâ€™s Saturday night right now. The smell in the air dances like the passion that recently ensued. The taste lingers on my tongue. I am fully satiated. Ik hou van u ontspruit brussel!, Je vous aime brussel pousse!, I love you brussel sprouts!
Copyright © 2010 E Jo
My Saturday Night Love Affair
Copyright © 2010 E Jo
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