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Let’s face it—Brussels sprouts are not for everyone.
(Of course, they very much are for Rach: "To me, [they're] better than a bouquet of roses!")
But if you ask the sweetest bow tie-wearing farmer, Farmer Lee Jones, our second-time guest and author of The Chef's Garden: A Modern Guide to Common and Unusual Vegetables, he's absolutely certain that Brussels sprouts can be universally adored—as can spinach, another vegetable he wants you all to give more love.
In fact, he says, both veggies are SEXY! And delicious, as we’re sure many of you know. But for those who need a bit more convincing, all you need to do is follow a few of his top shopping and cooking tips, and we bet you’ll be crunching on them all day long in no time. Read on, future veggie lovers!
3 WAYS TO MAKE BRUSSELS SPROUTS TASTE BETTER
1. SMELL YOUR SPROUTS
"Yes, I'm going to tell you to smell your vegetables!" says Lee. And this is a particularly useful tip when it comes to Brussels sprouts. As they're part of the cabbage family, Lee says when they smell a little too "cabbage-y," that's when they're too far gone. (Also, of course, if they're a little loose-leafed or brown.) But you don't want to eat them too early, either! Pick them right before first frost, says Lee, and they'll taste particularly sweet—a perfect opportunity for naysayers to give them a chance.
2. GET THEM ON THE STALK
If you can, says Lee, getting your Brussels sprouts still attached to the nutrient-dense stalk is best. "All of the leaves are edible, too!" he promises, and swears that if he taste-tested us blindfolded, the Brussels' leaves would taste just like collard greens. Sounds like a pretty good deal to us!
3. DON'T BE AFRIAD OF BIG BRUSSELS!
While Lee noted that farmers tend to pick Brussels small, there's no need to avoid the big boys! Just make sure to half or even quarter them to cut down on cooking time.
Speaking of, Lee says when it comes to cooking sprouts, he loves to sauté them. He even loves to throw them in a fire pit with some winter squash for a cozy seasonal treat. But as always, he notes, if you want to get as much of the good stuff as possible, you can't beat eating them raw. Pop them in a salad—or simply down the hatch!
THE BEST TYPE OF SPINACH, ACCORDING TO A FARMER
But Lee's fall veggie genius doesn't stop there! He's got a lot of big love for another much-maligned green—spinach—and according to Rach, "like Timberlake [brought] sexy back, you're gonna bring spinach back!"
"I love to eat it raw," says Lee. But! If you, like Lee, don't exactly love a flat leaf, then shop like our good friend the farmer for a variety known as "savoy spinach."
The difference? Well, you can hear it in Lee's squeeze on the vegetable. "Can [you] hear this?" asks Lee. "It's just so full of life and body and crunch. It's so sexy!"
Well, when you put it like that, Lee, how could we resist?!