Nothing beats Kentucky Brussels sprouts

Published 9:55 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017

By Jennifer Howard

Nothing beats fresh Kentucky Brussels sprouts for a delicious fall dish.

Brussels sprouts look like miniature heads of cabbage. They are similar to cabbage in taste, but they are slightly milder in flavor and have more dense texture.

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Brussels sprouts and cabbage are members of the cruciferous vegetable family. These vegetables contain significant amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers.

Brussels sprouts are available in Kentucky from July through early November.

Choose firm compact sprouts that are bright green in color and with unblemished leaves.

Fresh Brussels sprouts should be kept chilled. If they are kept at room temperature, their leaves will turn yellow quickly.

Yellow or wilted leaves are signs of age or mishandling. Old sprouts also have a strong, cabbage-like odor.

You also want to select spouts that are similar in size. This will allow them to cook more evenly.

Do not wash or trim sprouts before storing them. Place loose sprouts in a perforated plastic bag and use between 3 to 5 days.

To help get your appetite ready for fall, try this “Crunchy Fall Salad,” a great way to enjoy Brussels sprouts.

Crunchy Fall Salad

— 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

— 1 pound Brussels sprouts

— 1/2 cup dried cranberries

— 1/4 cup red or white onion, thinly sliced

— 3 slices bacon, cooked, drained and chopped

— 2 tablespoons brown mustard

— 2 tablespoons olive oil

— 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

In a small skillet, toast nuts over medium heat until they become slightly brown and fragrant. Set aside.

Remove outer tough leaves and ends of Brussels sprouts.

With a sharp knife, slice sprouts crosswise into thin slices. In a medium bowl, combine nuts, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, onion and bacon.

In a separate microwave safe bowl, whisk together mustard, oil and honey.

Heat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds on high or until warm. Pour dressing over salad. Serve immediately. Makes eight, 3/4 cup servings.

Nutrition facts: 160 calories; 9 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 0 trans fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 105 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 4 g protein.

For more information on Kentucky fruits and vegetables, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682.

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for family and consumer sciences.