|Even sprout-haters will find them tempting glazed with maple syrup!|
- Sprouts have an ancient pedigree; their forerunners were known to the Romans, and the modern sprout was first recorded in the 13th Century- but some say the 11th, some the 16th and some the 18th!- in what is now the country of Belgium (hence the name...).
- Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, from the same family as cabbage, kale and collard greens.
- They are grown mainly in Holland, Germany and the UK these days. French settlers in the Eighteenth Century also took them to the USA.
- Like all cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and kale, Brussels sprouts are really good for you: they contain sulphoraphane, a potent ant-carcinogen (steaming and stir-frying does not destroy this, but boiling does.) Amongst many other vitamins and minerals, Brussels sprouts are particularly rich in Vitamin K, Vitamin C and iron. Look here for some more info on this amazing family of vegetables from this blog.
1 tsp fine seasalt
1/4-1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 1/2 tabs extra-virgin olive oil
1 tab pure maple syrup
- Wash, peel and slit the sprouts by making a cross-shaped slit across the stem ends of the larger ones.
- Place in a pan with the salt, pepper and oil, and gently stir them over a medium heat to coat them.
- Once they are coated, turn the heat right down and put the lids o the pan. Sweat them like this for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the lid, add the water and replace the lid. Steam over a medium heat until the sprouts are just soft and all the water has been absorbed.
- Now stir in the secret anti-sprout-haters weapon: the maple syrup. Keep warm until needed, but do not overheat.
- Just before eating, garnish with some finely-grate orange zest. (I was in a hurry, so I didn't manage this.)