A big shout-out to all you passionate Brussel-sprout lovers — Stonefruit in particular — as I have finally had a pleasant experience with the cabbagey kids!
I waited until the weather turned frosty, as what's bad for citrus is good for sweetening Brassica oleracea, you all said, to buy some loose, tightly closed, hard buds from Riverdog Farms. I plucked Stonefruit's recipe out of the bountiful comment section to try first because I had pecans in the freezer. (I only recently learned that these nuts' oils may turn them rancid after a few weeks in a bag; mine just used to get soft.) Here are her/his directions:
1. Cut the sprouts in half and steam them until they’re nearing fork-tenderness.
2. Saute some chopped garlic in butter and olive oil. (Cast-iron might be good; I just use a regular, not-non-stick saute pan.) After you’ve sweated the garlic briefly, with the flame on medium heat, add the Brussels sprouts along with some pecans, kosher salt, black pepper, and thyme. Toss everything together, and arrange the sprouts cut-side down (a set of tongs works well for this).
3. Let the sprouts brown on the bottom and serve. They’re garlicky, toasty, and nutty.
Indeed they were. And boy, was that preferable to "bitter, limp, and lifeless," my previous associations. I can honestly say I found these sprouts tasty!
Thanks to Stonefruit and everyone else who shared their tastebud-changing recipes. I'll report back on my next Brassica foray — which I am pretty sure will be Joanne's Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts and Pancetta.