It is rather easy to turn this crop of brussel sprouts into a field of stick figures, walking into the distance. This is what brussels look like in February. We have been harvesting sprouts off these plants for months now.
I am sometimes asked for a whole stem, like you see at the grocery store. They are so wonderful to look at. I remember my mom describing a huge floral display at a fancy department store featuring brussel sprout stalks. I suspect that it is very difficult to grow stems like that, organically. They are loved by aphids. The lower leaves are snapped off to give the pests less opportunity to set up shop. And if they do move in, the soap spray is more effective.
Brussel sprout seed is planted in the greenhouse in June and July. The plants are transplanted in August and September. Harvest begins in late October or November. This field is nearly finished and will be tilled in soon. Especially if this warm weather keeps up. Believe it or not, lots of things, including these sprouts, are pushing to flower now. These plants are in the ground a very long time. Keeping them weeded takes vigilance.
And how do you cook them? Think of them as the small cabbages that they are cook them with that in mind. I like them cut in half and put in a hot skillet with a little oil or bacon fat or ghee. Keep them cooking for 10-15 minutes on low heat until they get a little brown on the bottom. Some people, like my dad, just don’t like them. They’ll never like them, no matter what. I think they pair well with lots of flavors, mustard and lemon, in particular.