Surprisingly, the answer to that question is...Brussels sprouts.
Getting to know Julia Child has brought out the adventurous side of my cooking. So a while back, I decided to purchase and cook a vegetable I had never even tasted before. This was my second, and much less involved, attempt at making a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
My new favorite grocery store, aptly named Sprouts, had a barrel of gorgeous looking Brussels sprouts that kept catching my eye as I was shopping for produce. I remembered there was a recipe for them in the Julia Child cookbook so I resolved to buy some. The problem was, there were two sizes of sprouts in the barrel. Some were small, just over an inch in diameter. Others were about 3 inches across. I stared for a while then finally asked the nearby produce guy about it. By the way, I love this guy. I've seen him in there plenty. He's about 6 foot 4, hugely muscled, with a shaved head. He looks like his night job might be professional wrestler or night club bouncer. But the man knows his produce. He explained that the different sized sprouts had unique flavors. Some swore by the larger, some people loved the smaller ones. He suggested that I buy some of each to see which I preferred.
Can I just admit that buying Brussels sprouts made me feel extremely cultured? It's shallow, I know. I can't believe it gave me such an ego boost. Why yes, that IS my cart with the red wine, Brussels sprouts, and french bread. I'm basically a Parisian, and I plan to whip up a delightful meal with these simple, tasteful ingredients right after I get home from the museum and shopping, thank you very much.
Actually, cooking Brussels sprouts was amazingly easy. Especially if you cut out half of Julia's directions, as I did. Maybe my finished dish would have been even better had I followed her directions exactly, but I was plenty happy with the result of my efforts. I just boiled the sprouts for 8-10 minutes in salted water until tender, drained them, poured melted butter on top, and tossed. Voila!
I can't wait to make them again!
P.S. Cody and I both preferred the smaller sprouts.