Brussels sprouts are one of those love-em-or-hate-em vegetables, and we hope you'll use the comments to share your opinions on the little cabbages. We used to be firmly in the hate-em camp, but the nutty, earthy flavor of these oh-so-cute veggies won us over a couple years back.
If you don't like Brussels sprouts, you're probably turned off by the bitterness, which is never popular with Western palates. There's no easy way around it: Brussels sprouts are often bitter. As Harold McGee says in , "whether we cook sprouts rapidly to minimize the production of thiocyanates, or slowly to transform all of the glucosinolates, the result is still bitter." Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Thiocyanates are tricky little devils.
McGee offers one strategy for taming the bitterness: Slice the sprouts in half and cook them in a lot of boiling water. The water leaches the offending compounds out of the center stem of the vegetable, where they tend to congregate. Alice Waters suggests a more time-consuming approach: Cut out the stalk's core before cooking the sprouts.
Photos by Melissa SchneiderOn Food and Cooking