What’s in Season on the North Fork: Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap. In fact, a 2008 survey conducted by the Heinz Company concluded that Brussels sprouts were the most hated vegetable in America. When cooked properly, however, these nutrient-packed veggies can be more like a comfort food than something you only stuff down in the name of health.

Brussels sprouts are a staple Thanksgiving and holiday side that’s something to get excited about at Farm Country Kitchen in Riverhead. Owner Tom Carson serves his restaurant’s crispy, savory Brussels sprouts with hearty entrées like filet mignon and center-cut pork chop with port wine sauce.

“November is a time when people push aside salads for Brussels sprouts,” Carson said. “It is a comfort food.”

Farm Country Kitchen roasts its Brussels sprouts before pan-frying them with pancetta and garlic.

“We roast and pan-fry them to give it great texture,” Carson said. “The pancetta infuses a nice salty, savory flavor that balances out the Brussels sprouts.”

Brussels sprouts are available through December. Get them locally at KK’s The Farm in Southold, Sang Lee Farms in Peconic and Bayview Farms in Aquebogue, among other places.

Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower are also in season this month.

Fun Facts

• There are more than 110 different varieties of sprouts.

• Brussels sprouts are native to the Mediterranean and were probably first used by the Romans.

• In the U.S., most Brussels sprouts are grown in northern California, Washington State and on Long Island.

• They are named after the city they were most cultivated in, Brussels, Belgium, during the 16th century.

• Since children are born with a preference for sweets, they often dislike Brussels sprouts because they taste bitter.

• Brussels sprouts can be pickled as an alternative to cooking them.

Health Benefits

• Rich in fiber that helps support regularity and gut health

• Contains kaempferol, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer growth

• Rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and immune function

• Helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels

— According to Healthline

Nutrition Information

According to the United States Department of Agriculture

Amount per 1 cup (88 g):

Calories: 38

Protein: 3 grams

Carbs: 8 grams

Sugar: 1.9 grams

Fiber: 3.3 grams

Fat: 0 grams

Vitamin A: 13% of RDI

Vitamin B-6: 10% of RDI

Vitamin C: 124% of RDI

Iron: 6% of RDI

What’s in season is sponsored by Farm Credit East.