Members of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts are in the same category as collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. There are actually many varieties available and some are even purple, such as the Ruby Crunch or Red Bull.
Early species of Brussels sprouts originated in ancient Rome. However, the cultivation of what we know today gained popularity during the 16th century among cultivators around Brussels, in the lowlands of Belgium, and the Netherlands. We in America have the French to thank for bringing them to Louisiana in the 18th century. Today, what you find at the grocers were most likely grown in California along the coast.
Ever wonder how Brussels sprouts went from their long established previous status of “most despised” to leading top ten lists everywhere over the last decade? It all comes down to prep methods and believe me these li’l guys were never meant to be boiled! (I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to hiding my share of Brussels sprouts in my napkin once upon a time.) We, along with Brussels sprouts growers, certainly give thanks to an inspired chef somewhere who had the insight to toss a layer into a roasting pan to see what would happen. While I so appreciate the simple results of this veggie lightly tossed in olive oil with a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt and roasted until a bit crispy around the edges, I will never say no to possible improvements. So when I came across this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pecans I knew I would have to give it a go.
3 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste
1 & ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed into 1-inch cubes (Yields about 4 cups of uncooked cubed butternut squash)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dried cranberries
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup