Although I’m a lady chemist, I’m not the cook in our home. I don’t think that standing over a hot pan is fun, and there have been complaints about my dinners being served an hour too late! I do, however, like to help with food prep, and I’ve become pretty efficient, not because I move quickly but because I move smartly. One vegetable that I love to eat but dreaded prepping in the past is Brussels sprouts. These little vitamin bombs are definitely worth the little bit of brain power I used in developing a streamlined prep process, which is shared below. I hope that this helps those of you who aim to eat more fresh, seasonal vegetables this year but are not excited about the work that this may entail.
My Brussels sprouts routine:
- I pick out a batch of LARGE Brussels sprouts (at least 1 in or 3 cm in diameter) at the supermarket or farmer’s market. The sprouts need to be handled individually during prep, so 100 large sprouts are a better choice than 150 small sprouts. I also think the flavor of larger sprouts is better, and less waste will be produced when you shed the outer leaves during prep.
- I DON’T wash my Brussels sprouts. I’m not forbidding anyone from doing so. It just seems like a waste of water and time. I discard the outer leaves and ends, so any dirt and bugs are shed. The sprouts are eventually steamed and sauteed, so any microbial contaminants are destroyed.
- I chop off the butts and halve each sprout, making a butt pile on my right (right-handed) and a halves pile on my left. This takes only a few minutes.
- I peel the outer leaves from each halved sprout and collect the sprouts in my prep bowl. The outer leaves should fall right off, because they were attached to the butt only. This takes a few minutes more. Thus, I can clean a kilo of Brussels sprouts in under 10 minutes, and my sweetheart and I can prepare a hearty meal of sauteed Brussels sprouts, bacon and onions in about 20 minutes.