Brussels sprouts, along with cabbage, are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. The sprouts resemble small heads of cabbage and are found in the leaf axils surrounded by large, interloping leaves. While the sprouts are the more commonly eaten part of the plant, the leaves are also edible, tasty and nutritious. Brussels sprout greens are generally sold in bulk by the pound at vegetable stands and farmers markets.
Wash the Brussels sprout greens thoroughly under running water. Remove any foreign material from the leaves with a vegetable brush. Rinse the leaves and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Cut out the thick white stem from the middle of the leaves or, if you prefer, leave it in as it is as edible and flavorful as the sprouts. Slice the leaves into approximately 1-inch wide strips.
Turn on the stove-top burner to medium and place a skillet on it. Coat the bottom of the skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you desire, briefly sauté garlic cloves, minced onions or ginger in the olive oil for additional flavor. Add diced chicken or ham to make a complete meal from the Brussels sprout leaves.
Place the leaves in the skillet and cover with the lid. Steam the leaves for several minutes, remove the lid and cook for an additional six to eight minutes or until the leaves are tender, stirring every several minutes. Add red chili flakes, salt or pepper to suit your taste and serve hot.
- Brussels sprout greens are delicious without seasoning, but you can experiment with a variety of seasonings you like.
- Do not overcook the leaves, or they will become limp, lose some of their sweet flavor and take on a sulfurous odor and flavor.
Freelance writing since 2009, Tom Ross has over 30 years of corporate management and hands-on experience in the supermarket industry. Ross was featured on the cover of "Instore Buyer" magazine and his articles have appeared on various websites.