Brussels sprouts are grown in cool climates for their edible buds, which look like miniature cabbages. Originating in Europe, most likely Brussels in Belgium, they belong to the Brassicaceae family which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale and kohlrabi.
As with broccoli and other brassicas, Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, a substance believed to have powerful anti-cancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of this compound, steaming, microwaving and stir-frying does not result in significant loss. Sprouts also contain good amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre.
To prepare, remove loose leaves, wash in cold water, trim a small amount from the base of each sprout and make a single cut – or a cross – at the base to aid the penetration of heat when cooking.
Methods of cooking include steaming or boiling before tossing with a little butter, grain mustard and chopped fresh dill, or cutting into quarters and adding to your favourite stir-fry.
A great way to get non-fans to eat Brussels sprouts is cut into quarters and sauté with some chopped onion and bacon in a heaped tablespoon of butter, then add a big dash of white wine, cover with a lid and steam for 5 minutes. Finally, remove lid, add a dollop of cream and freshly ground salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
You can find Brussels sprouts at the Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market stalls W & B Hart Vegetables and The Food Forest. The Adelaide Showground Farmers’ Market is open on Sundays from 9am to 1pm at the Adelaide Showground, Leader Street, Wayville.
W & B Hart Vegetables are also at Willunga Farmers’ Market on Saturdays from 8am to 12.30pm. Also open on Saturday mornings is the Gawler Farmers’ Market from 8am to noon at the Gawler Visitor Information Centre, 2 Lyndoch Road, Gawler.
Lyndall Vandenberg, marketing and communications coordinator for the Willunga Farmers’ Market, has shared this recipe for a simple meal of roasted Brussels sprouts served with pork chops.
“This fast, no-fuss recipe with good ingredients is perfect for busy families,” she says.
Pork Loin Chops with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mustard and Cider Butter
12 Brussels sprouts
6 medium potatoes, cut in half
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6 pork loin chops (about 280g each)
extra virgin olive oil
Mustard and cider butter
60g butter, softened
3tbsp apple cider vinegar
1tbsp Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss the potatoes and garlic in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a medium-sized roasting dish for about 30 minutes. Next, toss the Brussels sprouts in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper then add to the potato dish and bake until golden and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook pork chops, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. (approximately 8 to 10 minutes). Add a few sage leaves to the frypan and cook until wilted.
For the sauce, place all ingredients in a small saucepan and gently heat, whisking continuously. Bring to boil and while whisking, and cook until the butter begins to brown. Pour over the pork and vegetables with a lemon wedge to the side and serve immediately.
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