Brussel sprouts are my absolute favorite. I could eat them everyday and have found a no fail way to make the perfect sprouts every time. I prefer fresh to frozen and can almost always find them in a bag in the produce section. The two step method makes the sprouts soft, but crunchy and flavorful.
Since it’s farmers market season, I thought I’d also share a few tips for how to make the best of your experience.
First, cut off the ends of the brussel sprouts and cut them in half if they’re large. Next place them in a steamer container, I use this one found here, and add an inch of water. If you don’t have a steamer, you can always put them in a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water, cover with a microwave safe plate and steam them that way. Microwave for 5-6 minutes depending on how many sprouts you have. Drain the sprouts.
Next, add a tablespoon or so of butter to a pan on the stove and add the sprouts. Add salt and pepper and let the sprouts get a little brown in the pan. The two-step process makes them soft and tender, but also adds a crunch due to the pan-frying.
Farmer’s Market Tips
I love exploring farmer’s markets when I travel (research before you go) and now that I am back in Indy, I can walk to City Market every Saturday. The USDA has a handy search tool on their website to help you locate farmer’s markets in your area.
First, have a mental list of what you’d like to buy. Know what fruits and vegetables are in season, but also go with an open mind and get whatever looks fresh. Tomatoes are best in the summertime, but some vendors may have better tomatoes than others.
That said, I always do one full loop around the market before buying anything so that I can get an idea of what is there. Nothing is worse than buying sunflowers from the first booth you see only to later find sunflowers at a better price. Also, no bartering; this is not a flea market. Have some respect for the vendors and if their kale is too pricey, keep moving.
I have often left empty handed – there is no shame in this. It’s about the experience, being outside, and enjoying your neighborhood. If the produce doesn’t look particularly great or the prices aren’t reasonable, I am more than ok with a Trader Joe’s stop.
Other tips: bring cash just in case. Most vendors accept credit cards now, but it’s smart to have cash on hand. Bring reusable bags to haul your load and one of my favorite secrets: arrive late. Allow for enough time to peruse so that you’re not rushed, but often times the vendors will lower the prices on the items they have left so that they do not have to pack up everything they brought.
Finally, ask the farmers and vendors questions! They usually have great pairing/meal ideas and I love to learn more about their small business and know where my food came from.
I planted a few herbs in pots on my patio and Winston has quite the green thumb….or green paws.