Bonjour! Today’s recipe has us visiting Belgium for one of their most popular vegetables, Brussels Sprouts! We’re making roasted brussels sprouts straight on the stalk, but you could just use pre-cut brussels sprouts if that’s all you can find. Brussels sprouts have always been a controversial vegetable, you either love or hate them. But if you’re a hater, let this recipe change your mind. Fresh roasted sprouts with a little kick of heat and tons of flavor from the Spicy Dan-O’s dipped in cooling ranch is just heaven on your taste buds.
Brussels sprouts have a long legacy behind them, their forefathers were cultivated as far back as Ancient Rome. However the sprouts that we know didn’t start growing until as early as the 13th century in the area we now call Belgium. We know that the first written reference dates to about 1587, and that during the 16th century they enjoyed a surge in popularity in the southern Netherlands that led to them spreading throughout cooler sections of Northern Europe.
You see, modern day sprouts grow in a pretty incredible range of temperature. They’re used to about 45-75° F but have the best yields somewhere between 59-64 degrees. Because of their incredible cold resilience, they’re often considered a winter vegetable. Brussels sprouts are considered to be the sweetest after a frost! They’re ready to be harvested as early as 90 days after cultivation but can take up to 180 at most. The sprouts grow like buds in patterns along the side of these thick, tall stalks while they mature from bottom to the top. Stalks can produce up to 3 pounds of sprouts but most commercial yields are about 2 pounds. The Netherlands is the largest producer, growing 82,000 metric tons a year, with Germany producing 10,000 tons.