Maria Liberati was an international supermodel before she became a food/lifestyle personality and author of “The Basic Art of Italian Cooking.”

“Brussels sprouts were brought to Brussels by the Romans,” she tells Organic Authority. “If they are cooked too long, their color turns from a bright, vibrant green to a dark green, so you want to steam or cook them only until slightly tender and a fork can easily pierce the inside.”

Because Brussels sprouts are slightly bitter, they’re best complemented by foods that have sweet characteristics—for example, chestnuts and garbanzo beans, notes Liberati, whose new cookbook, “Festa,” will be released next year. She also likes to create a gratin with cheese and butter, which help reduce bitterness.

Note: Because you follow an organic lifestyle, Organic Authority recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to minimize your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.

Cavolini de Bruxelles Gratinati
(Brussels Sprouts Baked with Cheese)

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup butter
5 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. Steam Brussels sprouts until just tender. They should still be bright green.
  2. Butter a casserole dish and add the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Cover with only a pat of butter and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  4. Broil in oven until cheese just browns and begins to bubble slightly.
  5. Remove from oven.
  6. Melt remaining butter in a pan, and pour over the casserole before serving.

Recipe © Maria Liberati 2005. Reprinted with the author’s permission.