Brussels sprouts, cousins to cabbage, kale, and broccoli, gained popularity in the Netherlands during the16th century. Today the Netherlands still holds the title of largest producer in Northern Europe. Here in the Unites States the majority of brussels sprouts are grown in California, where the harvest season is from June to January. Production of the cruciferous vegetable began stateside in the early 1800s. Today about 85% of the crop harvested is headed toward the frozen food section at your local grocer.
Brussels sprouts are renowned for their high concentration of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. They are often snubbed at the dinner table despite their nutritional value; the sulfur-like smell that emerges when the green buds have been left cooking too long causes many to reject them before the first bite.
Brussels sprouts grow in a beautiful spiral formation around a thick green stalk. Right now you can buy the sprouts at your local farmer’s market, either on the stalk or already plucked. They are a hearty and healthy side dish for any holiday feast. If you are looking for a basic crowd pleaser try these Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts and for something a little sweet that can serve as side dish or entrée try this Shredded Brussels Sprouts and Apple recipe.