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Brussels Sprouts

November 17, 2013
Igor Brussels sprouts

Igor Brussels sprouts

Yeah! I have Brussels sprouts this year! I have tried to grow them before, but I never got them in early enough for them to mature before I stopped delivering. This year, they made it. With the timing about right, next year I’ll experiment with the spacing, by putting them in their own bed with just one row and see what kind of a difference that makes. In the mean time, there are some sprouts to eat. Here are two ideas, one cooked and one raw:

Cooks Illustrated experimented with Brussels sprouts a few years ago, to find a really good way to roast them. Here is what they came up with:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (serves 6 to 8)

  • 2 1/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered, if large; whole, if small)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 T water
  • salt and pepper

Put the oven rack in the upper middle position and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Toss the Brussels sprouts with oil, water, 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper, until coated. Transfer the sprouts to a rimmed baking sheet, with cut sides down.

Cover the sheet with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue roasting until the sprouts are well browned and tender, 10 to 12 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.


1. While sprouts are roasting, heat 3 T olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add 2 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 t red pepper flakes, cooking until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. After sprouts are done, toss with the garlic and pepper flake oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 c Parmesan cheese before serving.

2. While sprouts are roasting, cook 4 slices of bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper towel lined plate and reserve 1 T of bacon fat. Finely chop bacon. When sprouts are done, toss with 2 T olive oil, reserved bacon fat, chopped bacon and 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted pecans. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Toss roasted sprouts with 3 T melted  unsalted butter, 1 T lemon juice and 1/3 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts. Season with salt and pepper.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad from Bon Appetit (serves 8 to 10)

  • 1/4 c fresh lemon juice
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T minced shallot
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1/4 t kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Lacinato kale (about 1 1/2 pounds), center stems discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 12 oz  Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 c almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c Parmesan, grated

Combine lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, salt and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend, then set aside to let flavors blend. Mix sliced kale and sprouts in a large bowl. From the 1/2 c of olive oil, take 1 T and heat in a small skillet over medium high heat. Add almonds and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle almonds with salt. Whisk remaining olive oil with lemon/mustard mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Add to kale and sprouts, with cheese, tossing to coat. Garnish with almonds.

(You may notice, this is very much like the kale salad I love so much. The recipe for that salad is here, along with a link to a Kale Waldorf salad, that you could easily add Brussels sprouts to as well.)

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