As with beets, Brussels Sprouts is (are?) one of those vegetables of which you hardly ever hear anyone saying, "If you aren't going to eat those, can I have them!?"

But childhood aversions aside, these little fellers can be mighty good, and good for you, and they'd possibly sell better if they were marketed as "natural organically grown baby cabbages" rather than, well, you know.

Anyway, here's a more-or-less standard veggie rendition with an Italian twist:

Wash about a dozen Brussels sprouts well, trim off the ends and any withered looking leaves and, if you're really obsessive, poke a little X deep into the stem ends with a sharp paring knife, a procedure that may or may not help them cook through more quickly but certainly makes you feel like a killer chef.

Bring about an inch of salted water to a boil in a small saucepan, then put in the sprouts. Bring back to the boil and cook for four minutes uncovered, then cover, turn heat down to the simmer and cook for four minutes more.

While the sprouts are in the final minutes of the boil, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick sautee pan with a couple of garlic cloves sliced paper-thin and a very gentle shake of dried-red pepper flakes. Drain the sprouts and add them to the garlic-flavored oil; toss and shake over medium heat for a minute or two, until the sprouts are coated and sizzling -- add a dash of water to the pan if things start sticking.

Place them in a serving bowl and toss immediately, while they're still sizzling hot, with about 1 tablespoon of grated Pecorino Romano (best) or Parmigiano or a combination, along with salt, pepper and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg. (I mix all this together in advance to save last-minute prep time.)