You know spring is almost over when the Brussels Sprouts stop coming to the farmers market.
They grow best during sunny days with cold, frosty nights. I think we’re officially past that here in Austin, TX and into sunny days with hot, humid nights. I picked up the very last bag of brussels sprouts at the farmers market last weekend. They were the tiniest little sprouts I’ve ever seen! Most of them were smaller than a nickle. I would have loved to see what these little guys looked like on the stalk.
Brussels Sprouts are definitely in my top 10 funkiest looking plants. A central stalk produces long leaves with thick stems. Then miniature cabbages grow out of the corner where the leaf stem meets the central stalk. I don’t know of any other veggie that grows like this.
Brussels sprouts can last a long time while still on the stalk. Traditionally, if you were growing brussels sprouts yourself you could leave your sprouts unharvested, keep the plant in the ground, and cover the whole thing with mulch or leaves to keep it cool then harvest the sprouts as you need them.
For the rest of us who want to take advantage of the last brussels sprouts of the season, there are two good options.
First, brussels sprouts actually freeze really well. Get some water boiling, add your brussels sprouts and let them boil for just 3-4 minutes. Drain the water and refresh the sprouts under a cold faucet or toss them in an ice bath. Drain them again and freeze.
Second, for your adventurous kitchen go-ers, you can try pickled brussels sprouts. Since they’re a member of the cabbage family it’s similar to sauerkraut, but you’ll be using a simple vinegar brine instead of doing a whole fermentation like traditional sauerkraut. If you’d like to try pickled brussels, give this recipe a try from the lovely Erin from Putting Up with Erin.
Also, if you’re tired of just roasting your brussels sprouts, try this brussels sprouts pizza recipe from Cookie and Kate.