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A very wise frog once told us, "It's not easy being green." No vegetable knows that plight better than the Brussels sprout.
The tiny green orbs cause such visceral reactions among some eaters that you'd think a plate of rotten eggs and moldy bread was in front of them.
Walter Bundy, the executive chef of Lemaire in Richmond, Virginia, argues otherwise. In fact, he thinks Brussels sprouts are quite fabulous when done right - and we're going to have to agree.
“I love to cook with Brussels sprouts because they seem to represent autumn and winter to me. They are very robust with an earthy flavor. They have a slight bitterness that works well with so many other foods, " says Bundy.
Five Ways to Cook with Brussels Sprouts: Walter Bundy
1. Brussels sprouts can be cooked using an array of techniques, including boiling, braising, sautéing, steaming, frying and roasting.
2. Before working with Brussels sprouts, blanch them in salted, boiling water to heighten the color and flavor.
3. Roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven with herbs is a simple and great way to add color and crispness to the dish.
4. If you’re looking for a richer, creamier side dish, braise Brussels sprouts with heavy cream and goat cheese.
5. One of my favorite fall side dishes is Brussels sprouts with bacon and butternut squash. It represents the flavors of the season and brings out the slight bitterness of the Brussels sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts Soup with Cream and Nutmeg
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/2 quart heavy cream
- 1 1/2 quarts Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- Kosher salt, white pepper and freshly ground nutmeg to taste
- In a soup pot, heat butter, olive oil, onion, celery and garlic over medium heat. Sweat for 7-10 minutes.
- Add the stocks, cream and Brussels sprouts. Cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste.
- Remove soup pot from heat and blend in small batches. Adjust consistency with warm water if necessary, and enjoy.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Butternut Squash
- 8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 8 oz butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into medium dice
- 4 oz applewood bacon, rendered and diced
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 oz pumpkin seeds, toasted until golden
- 1 cup heavy cream, reduced by 1/2
- 3 oz or 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Add butternut squash. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and immerse the squash in an ice bath.
- In a saucepan, warm the reduced cream and add Parmesan cheese.
- In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until slightly roasted and caramelized. Add blanched butternut squash and bacon. Heat throughout. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
- Serve sautéed Brussels sprouts, bacon and butternut squash on individual plates. Drizzle Parmesan cream over the top. Finish with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve with your favorite fall protein.
Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Juice and Thyme
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 10 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 12 stems fresh thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
- In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and continue to cook until the Brussels sprouts are slightly caramelized and soft throughout.
- Squeeze the fresh lemon over the Brussels sprouts and garlic.
- Add the cream and fresh thyme. Season with kosher salt and white pepper to taste and enjoy.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Vidalia Onions
- 8 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
- 4 oz pancetta, diced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 large Vidalia onions, cored and julienned
- Kosher salt and white pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove and immerse the Brussels sprouts in an ice bath. Reserve.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add butter and let brown. Add onions and cook until slightly caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Reserve.
- Heat another sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until slightly crispy and rendered. Drain the oil. Add the pre-cooked Brussels sprouts and Vidalia onions. Season with salt and white pepper.
- Heat through and serve as an autumn side dish.
Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.
Love Brussel sprouts, especially steamed. Still trying to figure out the popularity of the green beans floating in mushroom soup–never going to find that on my Thanksgiving table!
Roast in olive oil in cast iron skillet. Add toasted pine nuts, currants, salt and pepper. Add some parmesan on top (although not necessary).
One of the BEST veggies dishes I have ever made.
The only real success I've ever had with Brussel Sprouts was feeding them to the residents at an assisted living facility where I was the exec. What I did was to boiled them in salted water to soften,drain them, then toss them with Rice Wine Vinegar and some sugar (or Splenda as it turned out (had a lot of diabetics)). This method took them to such a tolerable level, I was faced with multiple requests for seconds!
Pre-cook some bacon and leave the drippings in the pan. If there's more than a couple tablespoons of oil, it's ok to drain some of it off. Blanch the brussel sprouts, then slice them in half (the long way). Start browning them in the bacon fat (flat side first). Add some chopped onions. As the brussel sprouts start to get cooked all the way through, and the onions start to caramelize, flip the brussel sprouts over; add some chopped garlic (doing this late so it won't burn); pour a little balsamic vinegar in to help deglaze the pan; give a good dose of freshly cracked black pepper, and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
I dont like eating Brussels Sprouts, by themselves, just like nobody likes to eat things like tomatoes, squash & onions BY THEMSELVES! Brussels sprouts has to go with a mix of things. Fry em up with BACON! :-D
It is truly a nightmare food. To be honest no matter how you prepare these sprouts and no matter how talented the chef working is, it will always just be "lipstick on a pig"
Some things cannot be made appealing and Brussels sprouts are one of them.
Some people actually like the taste and texture of brussel sprouts, there's a reason it's a relatively known commodity to begin with.
Just about my favorite veggie, certainly one I eat the most of... Typically I steam them, and I love to roast 'em. And I rarely season them at all; I just eat them "as is."
love brussel sprouts. I have them several times a week.
slice in half and brown in a pan(flat side down) with a little bit of olive oil. throw them in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 mts. depends on how crunchy you like them. take them out and toss with some seeds (sunflower, pumpkin) and a little sea salt and cayenne pepper. Yummmmmmm
Keep it simple: just steam them and eat them. They are so tasty. If you need to convince people just roast them with some bacon or proscuitto. Don't over-think it.
Despite this entire article, there are still a plethora of better things to cook and eat. Why work so hard to make something palatable when there are so many things which require little to no effort? Is it just the challenge factor? Should we be trying to find ways to make poop taste great? Brussels sprouts suck.
You must not have read the other posts. Brussels sprouts need very little effort cook into a tasty dish. Vile is your opinion.
The "Leave it to Beaver" episode where Beaver wouldn't eat Brussels sprouts was on today. How appropriate.
steam with some pepper. fantastic and almost the peak of its nutrients
saute with some butter, pepper, garlic, shallot, mushroom and you are in heaven.
add to a little balsamic glaze and you should be getting some head from a hot piece at the same time
The article does not suggest boiling them, it suggests blanching them. Big difference.
I am saying not to boil. I know many people who boil. stop waiting to correct everyone. You do not know everything
Even my cat likes Brussel sprouts, then again the big freak will cry and beg for Asperagus.
Wow, I can't imagine the smell of the litter box after a cat has asparagus!!
A little Bacon, onion and brown sugar and anybody will like these guys!
Bacon, onion and brown sugar on a shoelace would taste good. That's the point. Even the heading on this article acknowledges that brussel sprouts are not very liked.
Well yes, but that is how you get people to try them. Then they might try it another way after.
Brussels sprouts with an oil and balsamic vinegar dressing are excellent.
LOVE brussell sprouts! My mother used to boil them and make a white sauce.Yum! I microwave them in a little water until tender then saute them in olive oil, fresh garlic,salt n pepper.I've even got my husband to eat them! Yey
I pre steam them for a few minutes, put into a casserole dish, cover with a white sauce, cheese( any kind I have on hand) any spices I want, and a few bread crumbs, then bake until it all thickens up a bit. Delicious ! The white sauce makes the dish.!
Sorry. I've tried these nasty little thing prepared 100 different ways. They are vile. Period. They only thing worse is cauliflower. Nasty. That said, if I know someone will be at dinner who loves them, I will prepare them. The things I will do for friends.....
Brussels sprouts are considered a delicacy in my native India. My Uncle would go off to some far-off market in the boondocks to get us Brussels sprouts when we visited him. I still can't resist them. My wife just steams them with some butter or stir fries them with some spices and grated coconut. mmmm mmmm.
I have to admit that I have tried and tried, but this is one vegetable I can't grovoe on. Even though I'm a picky eater, I will state for the record that I did give this my best shot.I think you have a creative recipe here though. I have never seen anyone make them with beer. I see mostly things like balsamic vinegar and pancetta. I will definitely pass this idea on to my brussels sprouts-loving friends and family.
I slice them and put them in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
in milk is good :)
I roast mine in the oven. The crispy brown parts taste like potato chips.
The secret to cooking brussel sprouts is to undercook them. Only boil them in water for about 1-2 minutes while they maintain a green shine. The yucky flavor is mainly caused by being overcooked and mushy.
The secret to cooking brussels sprouts is to replace them with bacon.
lol. As much as that response made me laugh, I confess that I do like a plate of steamed BS.
My mum still remarks what a strange child I was–ate mashed Brussels sprouts when I was still in the high chair and mashed carrots and turnips too. Both are a Christmas fixture in Australia (if we have a hot meal–it can be over 100F Christmas Day though, so salad and cold seafood are often the choice). Recipes above are a bit disappointing–loads of cream and bacon etc. Anyone got some good recipes that are also calorie conscious?
Quarter your sprouts. Roll them in a tiny bit of olive oil and, if you want, sprinkle with a dash of salt. Roast them in the oven. I like mine with a little chipotle chili sauce. Mmm.
Toast roughly chpped pecans in a non-stick, dry pan.
Slice spouts like slaw, thinly.
Do a circle of olive oil on the pecans, medium heat.
Add sprouts, dried cranberries, S&P to taste.
'Stir-fry' to desired doneness, slightly limp, not all the way through, maybe 5-6 minutes. Yum.
I am a fan of the Brussel sprout. They can take a bit of getting used to, but if cooked right they are wonderful. You guys who aren't fans, try the Green Giant ones in the sauce. I know, they're high calorie but you'll get a taste of some that aren't as bitter if you're not familiar with cooking them yourself.
LOL yeah the green giant ones are decent, and the butter sauce has very little calories or fat really and tastes mostly like butter.
Best Bruss. Sprout recipe evah: Cut in half, coat with olive oil. Brown the faces in a frying or saute pan over medium+ heat till as dark as you like. Reduce the heat and add a small amount of water and cover and shake to steam them for 3-5 minutes like pot stickers. Then uncover, add low sodium soy sauce (~1/8 cup) (and maybe some Mirin to sweeten a bit) and increase the heat again, .Toss in some crispy browned garlic bits, stir and cook most of the liquid off. Even most h8rs like em then.
This is more like it–sound super tasty and low fat too
When do you add the Twinkies? (sorry, another article)
Your recipe sounds very good. Will give it a try.
Excellent. Will try this for the holidays!
Sautee some onions in EVOO, add the sprouts and some pepperoni – yes! pepperoni! Cook until sprouts are tender and the pepperoni is crisp.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil...for those of you that, like me, had to look it up.
I went to a fall wedding where the flowers and other decorations were gathered at a really nice farmer's market. Someone had picked up a stalk of sprouts maybe 3 feet long, I had no idea what they looked like "on the vine". After the wedding there were so many leftovers for everyone; we grabbed the fresh sprouts. They were delicious, almost a new experience!
Imagine all the people discussing Brussels sprouts from all over the world. How Emersonian. How Stevens. The Emperor of Ice Cream.
My kids love Brussels Sprouts, as my husband and I. The way that I make them is I steam them, fry up some bacon with onion and garlic. add the brussels with salt and pepper and a little sugar for carmelization. let cook/saute until everything is blended. about 10 min. If they are whole little ones, you will need more time, than if they are halfed. Sorry, I can give exact amounts, an approximation would be 3lbs of brussels to 1/2 lb bacon pieces.
We sauté them with white vine vinegar, a little oil, salt, pepper, chestnuts. What a nice dish, chestnuts not required. My opinion is to count calories, eat good stuff and enjoyable stuff. These little green balls grew on me over many years.
Brussels sprouts are da bomb simply boiled for a few minutes and buttered. can't imagine why anyone would hate them, but several friends do.
I hate 'em, my husband loves 'em. Perhaps with these recipes I'll try them again...
Same here. Husband loves them. His mother (from Austria) does too and calls them baby cabbages. I try one every year and think they taste and smell like boiled cigarettes even though I enjoy most vegetables. I'm wondering if there is a gene where brussel sprouts taste bitter to some people and not to others? I will have to give one of these recipes a go to see if I can be brought over to the greener side.
You can't boil them, you have to saute or roast in the oven w/ olive oil, herbs and top with lemon juice and balsamic and they transform into a delightfully wonderful and very different experience.
Yes, there is such a gene. Actually from what I've read, you have an extra copy of a taste receptor gene, which allows you to taste a chemical other people can't taste. It's not the cooking method, and neither you nor the other people are crazy, it's just that you are having two different experiences.
Both my husband and I love Brussels sprouts and even more since we found Brussels sprouts on the stalk at Trader Joes. My husband blanched them and then we froze them in individual servings for 2 and microwave them just 2 minutes and they were without a double the best and fresher tasting Brussels sprouts we have ever eaten. We plan to go back to Trader Joes and buy more while they have them and enjoy the taste of the freshest tasting sprouts we have ever eaten in our long live.
OMG I have eaten Brussel Sprouts since I was a little girl and
still love them. Mom always steamed her's then melted butter poured over them the grated fresh nutmeg. Best thing in the world
Steamed? I tried to p!ss 'em off and could only manage to get them frustrated.
I do not care if God Himself prepared them with manna. I HATE brussel sprouts. I dislike those who say,"oh,you have never had them THIS way". Why can't people simply accept some of us dislike the nasty little things?
Possibly because you insist on calling them "nasty little things". You're dislike does not make them bad, just as my liking them without any special preparation doesn't make them great.
As an independet arbiter, I declare KRCARSON to be the winner of this debate.
Nasty little cabbages. Yuck.
My kids love the way I make them. Slice thinly, Sautee some garlic in olive oil, add the sprouts, don't over cook, let them stay a bit crunchy, add some poppy seed and lemon juice. Salt and pepper. Delicious side dish, my kids always ask for seconds.
wow I have to try that. Thanks.
You're welcome. Enjoy!
Agreed. Even I would thy that and I find them detestable.
I have one thing to add with regard to Brussels sprouts – pickled.
I really like brussel sprouts, but have never heard of them pickled! Sounds good...have to look them up!
Pickled brussel sprouts are the most delicious thing ever. Better than pickles!!
NO DOUBT! I would TOTALLY have to be pickled to put one of those horrid things in my mouth!
That's what she said. Pity.
They are great dipped in melted butter.
What isn't great dipped in melted butter? :) I like to slice them in half and brown in butter (open side down), then add a little water to the pan, cover and allow to steam. Blanching is my new fav.. green beans blanched and then roasted in oven at 400 with lots of garlic – Yum!
There is a genetic thing about Brussels sprouts (and cauliflower ) like the ability to enjoy cilantro/coriander. I can't stand Brussels sprouts or cauliflower, though I do like cabbage and cilantro. My dad can't stand cilantro, he says it tastes like soap, but he does like Brussels sprouts. I've had Brussels sprouts cooked by a master chef in San Francisco, cooked with bacon and charred barely on the edges, just barely crunchy yet softened, and yet I couldn't swallow more than a bite, though I should have been able to wolf it down. Not his fault, it's my DNA.
huh, that's odd but it's true for me. I hate cilantro it tastes like soap to me as well, but actually have cravings for brussel sprouts upon ocassion and I will go and buy a bag of frozen sprouts and heat them up and eat them (only them) for supper. Interesting.
Breading and deep frying works for most anything
Bacon doesn't hurt much anything either.
"The tiny green orbs cause such visceral reactions among some eaters that you'd think a plate of rotten eggs and moldy bread was in front of them."
Unfortunately, the way my mother cooked them (sorry, Mom!), that was how they smelled and looked by the time they reached the table. Fortunately, I have learned better cooking methods and now love them.
Shut up. I like Brussels sprouts and I don't need anybody talking them, and the price of them, up. TYVM.
They're a great Thanksgiving side dish. And they taste fantastic with almonds, pecans, or most other kind of nuts.
The best part is that there are always plenty of leftovers.
I roast them in the over, and then, while they are hot, I roll them around in a bowl with a little butter, salt and pepper. Then I open the trash can and throw them in because I cannot stand Brussels sprouts.
That sounds like a lot of work. Why not skip the rolling around in butter stage to save time? You could roast them and then go straight to tossing them in the trash.
you should try the oven. they might taste better.
Yes, I caught my typo just too late :(
You can toss them in my belly! I love those little emerald jewels!
Yes pass them little cabbage patch babies for ma belly!
I laughed so hard at your comment my dog jumped up and started to bark at me. Very nicely done.
Ben, my hubby looked at me funny when I LOL'd.
Paulse, I'm with you!
“I’ve had a perfectly wonderful evening, but this wasn’t it.” — Groucho Marx (Until I read your fine use of paraprosdokia !!) Great !! I laughed so very very hard....thanks...
Steam em, roll in butter and then in toasted breadcrumbs... MMMM. People keep asking me to make them this way.
make them this way. Please!
What's use of eating green veggies if you are going to add the calories and fat to make them as unhealthy as anything else?
Just vinegar, salt, and pepper for me.
if you put a 1/2 tablepsoon of butter over them when they are sauteeing, how is that making them as "unhelathy as anything else"? thats nothing compared to "anything else" and it addds flavor.
There are many alternatives to fat, in fact in large fat is misunderstood. I teaspoon of bacon grease will cook that which would take 1/2 cup of canola oil, 1 cup of veg oil. When you break down the elements of Sat fat, and fat to the 1 tablespoon vs 1/2 cup or 1 cup of the alternative cooking oils, you would find that natural fat is much better for you. The benefits of flavor and flash point is tremendous.
I do understand that you prefer a clean touch, unaltered flavor, however this many times removes more vitamin content, and fiber than that which is braise or sauteed.
Chef Shae, CC, MSRD
Culinary Institute of America
Le Cordon Bleu
i love you Chef!
So boiling causes loss of nutrients? I could believe that. I don't use grease our oil so maybe it will even out for me health wise.
My mother used to put Hollandaise sauce over them. Didn't help much. If Beaver Cleaver can eat them, so can you.
Steamed, put a little butter, salt, pepper on them... easier than all this, and totally yummy.
I don't see what the big deal is. Brussel sprouts are just fine. Toss a little seasoning on them, pop 'em in the oven. Good stuff.
Better than the slop you can scoop from the bottom of the local restaurant's dumpster.
They are on my list of Cannot Stomach foods. My wife LOVES them though, so we are good to go.
NO ONE scoops slop from restaurant dumpsters! Nitwit!
Many people do not, but I LOOOOOOVES me some brussel sprouts. Probably my favorite vegetable.