There is an upside to fall's cold snaps: Hardy vegetables such as Brussels sprouts always seem to taste better. Cooking is simple: Cut an X into the base of each whole Brussels sprout for even cooking, or cut into halves or quarters. Boil or steam until tender, 10 to 15 minutes; drain.
Loosen the leaves: Cut the base off each Brussels sprout. Using your fingers, gently pull each sprout into separate leaves. Thinly slice the inner core. Alice Waters, in her "Chez Panisse Vegetables" cookbook, calls for cooking diced onion and bacon in oil until softened, adding the leaves and a little water, wine or chicken stock, then covering and steaming until the sprouts are cooked, 10 to 15 minutes.
Gussy 'em up: This recipe from Chef Suvir Saran's "American Masala" cookbook calls for 3 pounds of whole, scored Brussels sprouts placed in a large bowl. Mix in 3 thinly sliced Granny Smith apples, 2 thinly sliced red onions, 1 cup sliced almonds, 1/3 cup raisins or currants, 1/4 cup oil, 1 tablespoon each balsamic vinegar and salt, 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Transfer the mixture to a large gratin or baking dish. Dot 1/2 stick of butter on top. Bake the sprouts in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Add more butter to the dish, if needed; bake 30 minutes. Turn on broiler; broil for 2 minutes until the top is browned. Makes 8 servings.
Go with a gratin: Place cooked Brussels sprouts in a lightly buttered casserole. Film lightly with whipping cream or a white sauce. Top with grated cheese of your choice and bread crumbs. Broil 2-3 minutes until the cheese melts and is bubbly.