A hearty winter vegetable, Brussels sprouts are sweetest and tenderest after a hard frost. Look for young, small green sprouts that have tightly formed buds; avoid any yellowing, which means that the sprouts will be sulfurous, bitter, and tough. Buy sprouts fresh and use within a few days of purchasing. Sprouts sold on the stalk tend to keep for longer.
Brussels sprouts are delicious boiled, braised, or steamed. You can cut an X at the base of the sprout to allow for more even cooking. You can also quarter or slice the the buds and sauté the individual leaves. When at their sweetest, a little butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and perhaps some seasonings, such as garlic, onions, or herbs, is all Brussels sprouts need, though they also make a great addition to stir-fries, noodles, and other dishes.