Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Thyme

Brussels sprouts are becoming one of the most popular vegetables around these days. And there is good reason. Not only are Brussels sprouts a nutrition powerhouse — they are loaded with many vitamins, including vitamins A, C, B6 and K — they are mighty tasty when cooked properly.

there are a lot of neat recipes for Brussels sprouts floating around the Internet, some of the best I’ve come across are ones that people have told me about or I have found in a book.

Just this morning, a fellow exerciser at my fitness center told about a Brussels sprouts recipe she prepared the other night in which she halved and cooked some in olive oil, later adding a little seasoning. That was on the heels of another friend telling me how she was going to prepare some sprouts that very evening.

We’ve been eating Brussels sprouts just about every time I fix salmon. All I do is steam them until they are just cooked through (still a bit crunchy) and season them with a little salt, pepper and cider vinegar.

I have a few more recipes that look mighty tasty, including the following from chef Mario Batali’s latest book, “Molto Batali” (ecco, 2011.)

Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Thyme
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, any tough or discolored outer leaves removed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
4 ounces Pecorino Romano, cut into ¼-inch cubes as best you can
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a pasta pot. Set up an ice bath nearby.
When the water comes to a boil, add 2 tablespoons salt. Drop the Brussels sprouts into the boiling water, and when the water returns to the boil, cook for 3 minutes. Then drain the Brussels sprouts and plunge them into the ice bath. Once they have cooled, drain, trim off the tough ends, and cut them in half lengthwise.
In a 14-inch saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the thyme leaves and cook until they are crispy, 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add the Brussels sprouts to the pan (they will cause a spattering ruckus), and cook over medium heat until they are tender and starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
Add the cheese cubes and cook, stirring gently, until the cheese starts to melt around the edges, about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.