Yesterday, Lachlan Sands, associate chef instructor at the California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California, explained how to select the best organic Brussels sprouts and their basic preparation. If you have trouble finding organic Brussels sprouts in your area, log onto Local Harvest, where you can search for organic farmers’ markets in your area.
“Because they are part of the cabbage and mustard family [Brassica], the flavors that best complement Brussels sprouts are mustard, bacon and onions,” Chef Sands tells Organic Authority. “Traditionally, they are served with a heavy béchamel or cheese sauce. This is the ‘Classical French Way of Hiding Icky Smells.’ ”
But if you cook your Brussels sprouts properly, using the deliciously simple preparation Chef Sands outlines below, you won’t need a thick sauce to mask unpleasant aromas.
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.
Brussels Sprouts with Mustard and Shallots
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/4 cup Kosher salt
1 gallon boiling water
2 quarts ice water
2 ounces vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, finely minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Cut an “X” into the flat stem of the sprout. Cut 1/4” into the sprout.
- Add the Kosher salt to the boiling water. When it is dissolved, add the sprouts.
- When tender (5–7 minutes), remove the sprouts and quickly cool them in the ice water. It is better to pull them out too early than too late. You can always cook them a little more, if needed.
- Drain sprouts and halve them lengthwise.
- In a 10” sauté pan, sweat the garlic and shallots in vegetable oil over a medium-low heat until they become translucent (just a few minutes).
- Add chicken broth and mustard. Allow to thicken slightly.
- Add the sour cream and sprouts. Reduce the heat and allow the Brussels sprouts to warm through.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
“Taste the sprouts before you add them to your sauce,” Chef Sands advises. “If they have a green or raw flavor, cook them for 1–2 minutes in the sauce. Otherwise, just warm them up.”