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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.
Cut them in half, blanch (boil) them in boiling water for 5 minutes, then sautee them in butter. Heaven, and they're not bitter!
Even better with a bit of garlic.
Love them roasted with sliced fennel, onions, and fingerling potatoes!
I agree. It IS time to rethink them. It's time to accept that they are not, in fact, edible and stop serving them to unsuspecting guests.
I totally agree.
Brussels sprouts don't taste like food. They don't smell like food. They're not food. They're not even what food eats.
Please, rethink the Brussels sprout. Rethink it to some other category of vegetation that does not iinvolve "edible."
I think you either love them or you hate them. Apparently, it's genetic, whether you hate them or not. Your genes affect how they taste to you. I love them. I eat them almost every day. They're better fresh. Trader Joe's sells them still on the stalk sometimes. My dogs love them too. Every since I had to do the Heimlich on my dog from a brussel sprout, I cut them up for them though. They're very good for you.
ooops I meant ever since.
In the range of human cultures – there are many foods one culture doesn't identify as food and another culture can't get enough of it.
and they make you fart and belch
Not me. Unless I overdose, then I may belch so I take gas-x.
Then you've never had them properly prepared. Or you don't like any brassica.
Put them on a plate i front of me and they're gone! I love those tiny little cabbages! ;oD
we gtow them fresh here in the great san joaquin valley of california, they grow on a shrub like bush the sprouts form under the leaves just snap them off and more grow, they thrive in the hot dry summers with irrigation, abundantly fresh at the local farmers markets, delish. hi in vitamins and minerals
Use the cuisinart slicing blade to sliver them. Toss with a pinch of nutmeg, teaspoon of brown sugar, sea salt and coarse grated black pepper. Pop in a steamer and steam for about five minutes. Toss with crisp pancetta or bacon – serve. Professed Brussels Sprout haters devour these! Passed around proposed TG dinner menu last week and got five howls of protest that the above recipe was not included.
that sounds really good!!!
This reminds me of the 1960 Leave it to Beaver episode ("Beaver Won't Eat") and his resistence to eating brussel sprouts ("I don't like 'em"), and Ward telling June, "A cold brussel sprout is about as appealing as a soggy sponge"...
But, June could have solved the entire thing by taking the now-cold sprouts and melting some butter into a sauce pan, taking a few of the sprouts and cutting them in half, and heating them in butter until hot – and then melting a slice of cheddar cheese over them – Beaver would have eaten them gladly because they no longer tasted like cabbage...
That's just my opinion, but eating cold brussel sprouts is pretty grim work, for sure (lol)...
Not as good but I have done it. They're also good pickled. The Pa Dutch market sells jars of pickled brussels. you eat them cold. yum
Cover them in lemon juice. They taste better.
I said it when I was five, and I will say it over fifty years later: EW!
Brussels sprouts are fabulous.
You just have to know how to cook them.
I know how to cook them. I take a hint from Samuel Johnson: As he recommended for cucumbers, "they should be well-sliced, dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out." Cook them however you want, but in the end, they should be thrown out.
Wasn't it George Bush, Sr. who forbid Brussels sprouts to be served in the White House while he was President?
I think it was broccoli.
I looked it up and it was George Bush (Ronald Reagan liked mac and cheese)...
...Elder Bush hated Broccoli...
I seem to remember baby Bush not liking kale. I could be wrong. I'd have to google it I guess....ahh...just don't care enough.
GHWB. He said he didn't like broccoli, and the broccoli growers got all in a tiff about it.
Definitely love Brussel Sprouts steamed, or sauted with butter and garlic, salt, pepper. And with melted cheese they're also good. For me, brussel sprouts especially go great with a filet of salmon.
Maybe I'm opposite, but instead of brussel sprouts, I actually can't stand carrots for some reason. Never did.
I do not like baby corn they taste like dirt!
My adult children love these things, but I have never eaten them because I can't get past the smell....any suggestions? I love broccoli and cabbage...not together but you know what I mean.
What is with pushing the Brussel Sprouts? Are the grower not making enough money. Rachael Ray was cooking with them this week as was Good Morning America, and The Today Show and now CNN. I will eat them if they are being served but they are NOT in my top ten favorites. I just find it curious that they seem to be the veggie of choice this week, but WHY?
Uh, because they're in season, which means they're at their best and cheapest.
Duh! they are in season you tard!
I'm not the "tard", tis YOU since YOU have the need to be rude. I made it clear they were not my veggie of choice so I would not be keepiong track of their growing season. Grow up!.
Proof positive that people will fight over anything, even brussels sprouts.
there ok served in Brandy
I love brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and asparagus . . . and they all seem to have a similar smell when you cook them. They definitely TASTE better than they SMELL!
Yes, yes, yes, and no to asparagus. I like brussels sprouts boiled or steamed whole and served with Hollandaise sauce...
I love all that stuff! Cheese on it too! I could whip Popeye in a spinach eating contest! Um, no cheese on the spinach though. Just salt, pepper and a touch of vinegar. I eat poke the same way but with diced onions, crumbled bacon and sliced boiled eggs mixed in. Ummmm yummy!. Tastes like spinach! ;oD
Love them all, but asparagus is the only one where the smell comes back to haunt you for the next 24 hours - !
I love them steamed and pickled. I also love Claussens Deli Dill Strips...not the processed ones that are vacuum sealed. When I finish a jar of Claussens pickles I refill the jar with cooled, steamed brussels sprouts and let them marinate for about a week. Absolutely delicious. Of course I like them most any way and I expect they are a vegetable, like parsnips, that are an acquired taste. To each his own!
While I can't bear these things, my hubby loves them so I cook them for him even though I despise the way it stinks the house up. Because of that- I refer to them as his "stinky balls" and believe me, when you say "honey do you want me to cook your stinky balls for dinner?" in mixed company, it gets some weird responses.
I used to feel the same way, until I tried roasting them. It doesn't stink up the house (much) and I actually like them. You just toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them at 400 F around 45 minutes or until they start to burn just slightly on the outside leaves. An entirely different flavor.
Well Kasey, I'm actually cooking them for him tonight and will try that. You don't add garlic or onion on them, nothing like that?
Nope, they're wonderful bare. :-) My 10 year old eats them like popcorn when I fix them that way.
I usually cook them this way (though I set my oven temp to 425, but for less time, because I like them a little on the crispier side.) I add garlic as well. Try adding maple syrup sometime too, a few tablespoons full (the real stuff, not Mrs. Butterworths of course). SO good and perfect for fall.
Cut them in half and roast at a high temp with carrots, potatoes and onion after mixing all of the vegies in a little olive oil and leaf thyme – I agree, roasted they are FANtastic!
Try adding balsamic vinegar to the mix and it is totally yummy!
Too funny . . . "honey, do you want me to cook your stinky balls?" Hahaha!
Stinky balls - lol!
Reminds me of when my husband and I were in the grocery store and one of us would say, "Do we need any pooper cheese?"
Pooper cheese = American singles. So named because we often used it to give pills to our dogs (poopers).
Best use of Brussel Sprouts is fresh dug ones in a bucket thrown over the fence to the pigs. They will eat anything.
Brussel Sprouts consumption by humans is the Number ONE contributor to Global Warming. Far ts are displacing the good gases in the ozone layer. Homo sapiens are doomed.
My best recipe for brussel sprouts, I use fresh brussel sprouts only...take off the bad leaves and cut them in half. I steam them on the stove. After done I toss them with a bit of sugar! Yummy!!!! The sugar cuts the bitterness, my 2 year old even eats them!
I don't care if the chef preparing Brussels sprouts is CIA ProChef certified and trained at Le Cordon Bleu. There is no amount of persuasion or intimidation that would convince me to eat even one Brussels sprout.
Nothing is better than Brussels sprouts ... I would rather eat nothing than eat Brussels sprouts.
Love them. My favourite vegetable, eat them EVERY DAY!
Note to author: Bitter does not equal delicious. In fact it is the anti-delicious.
is this you junior?
The best and easiest way to cook Brussel Sprouts is just to fry them with a bit of olive oil, onion and some tofu bacon. Very simple but tasty!
The extreme bitterness that you taste is genetic. To lovers of them, they're not as bitter.
Eat them fresh and you'll love'em. My mom often served frozen brussels and I hated them as a child, but when fresh, they are so much better. Saute then with a little olive oil and onions, garlic and a little bacon. Awesome!
With just a tiny bit of effort, brussels sprouts can be amazingly good. I steam them and the sauté them with butter, garlic, salt and pepper. I also roast them the same way. So good.
I have a story that my daughter wrote in elementary school. The teacher asked the kids to write their likes and dislikes.
My daughter wrote that she didnt like that her parents made her eat alien heads. I got a phone call from a hysterically laughing teacher who just had to know what alien heads were. Brussel Sprouts.
What a great story! And what an imaginative daughter!
Sorry, but these little darlings should be outlawed by the Geneva Convention.
I have recently begun roasting my veggies instead of boiling them. The flavor is enhanced greatly.
Simply put your cut-up veggies in a Ziploc bag; add your favorite seasonings (sea salt, freshly-ground pepper, thyme, sage, etc etc) and a little oil of your choice. Close the bag and ensure that each piece is coated. Line a baking pan with heavy-duty foil and place the veggies on the foil. Bake at 365 degrees for about an hour, turning the veggies every 20 minutes. Place the cooked veggies on a pan lined with paper towels (to remove any excess oil; then transfer to either a bag or sealable container.
YUM-O.... I opt for this in lieu of sweet or salty snacks; and have lost 25 pounds this summer....
I melted the bag in the oven! You didn't say to take them out of the bag before placing on foil. I" try again.
I prefer to remove the sprouts from the ziploc bag before baking them.
I've been eating and enjoying Brussels sprouts since before it was cool.
After reading all these comments (those FOR and AGAINST this magic little veggie), which also included such hilarious commentary with alternative uses of these green little orbs, I found myself feeling sooo much better after laughing so hard, it was like I had eaten a plate of love, laughter, hugs, humor, sarcasm, opinion, and wisdom in just the right amounts, I am ready to face the day! I hope everyone reading this article got as much "good" from it as I did! You don't have to like brussel sprouts to love these responses! Have a great day...and eat yer veggies! Ha!
My favorite brussel sprout recipe: Put some water, brussel sprouts and mushrooms in a fry pan. When nearly done, add precooked bacon. Dribble maple syrup over everything. Finish cooking and watch the dish disappear! (I use precooked bacon to minimize the fat content, but this dish cooked in bacon fat is yummy.
Sounds good. I love brussel sprouts with a little buttler, springled with white vinegar, salt and pepper.
Send them my way. I can't even have butter or cream sauces on them, as I have allergies to casein and whey, which means no milk products for me. I just like them. Never have understood the aversion many folks have, although I recognize that tastes vary. Some EV olive oil for saute' or pop some in the steamer and top with a little margarine and Lawry's salt, and I'm good to go.
Brussels Sprouts boiled or tossed with a little oil and roasted, coated with a little margarine or butter and I'm good!
Brussels sprouts with melted Velveeta.
Even better: add bacon and leave out the sprouts. ^_^
Nope, still awful.
I roast them at high heat, so they get a little crisp and caramelized, with bacon, balsamic sweet onions, and sometimes chestnuts.
I've tried to eat Brussels sprouts. Never could develop a taste for them. Taste buds change over time, but not for these.
When I was a kid, I loved liver. Then one day, in my teens, mom cooked up liver (with bacon and onions). My mouth was watering. I took a bite and they just stuck in my mouth. I absolutely could not stand the texture and taste. I was stricken! I loved liver! Not anymore.
Perhaps I'll try Brussell sprouts and find I like them.
My fav way toprepare Brussels is with fried mushrooms. Cook mushrooms in pan with some water and olive oil, allow shrooms to cook down and as water boils away they begin to brown. Then boil/steam Sprouts in pot, add butter and whole grain seasoned bread crums. Pile both shrooms and sprouts in a dish with a chunk of bread-yummmmm1.
Add onion for added flavor.
Sometimes I get such intense cravings for steamed Brussels Sprouts that I will go to the store to buy them alone. Great recipes folks! Can't wait to try them. BTW, what isle can I find manna in?
I also get cravings for steamed Brussels sprouts. I always wondered if I had a vitamin or mineral deficiency but it helps to know others share my cravings too.
mustard and brussels sprouts go hand in hand
Yes. I dip them in mustard. The dogs like that too. Cut them up with mustard and bacon is also good.
chef's chocolate salty balls
Why get fancy – just steam them for 5 minute and dirzzle some EVOO!
I'm with you! Steamed, tossed in EVOO, add some kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Good to go.
Great with roast pork.
The kids love when I can find them on the stem. They look super in a holiday kitchen, and my they are good just steamed in the microwave.
I love brussel sprouts...always have. Sometimes I will have just brussels for supper...so good. Yum yum
Bacon makes anything taste better. Such it is with brussel sprouts. Fry them in bacon fat after cooking some bacon and add the bacon and some garlic near the end and then top with some freshly grated parmeasan. NOM NOM NOM!
Nah. That just makes the bacon taste funny.
Why bother trying to feed them to anyone? Compost them.
Brussel Sprouts are a family fav, cooked this way:
Sprinkle brown sugar, salt and fresh ground pepper into melted butter into a pan with a lid; add sliced-in-half brussel sprouts, cut side down, to the pan. Saute over medium heat for a minute or two; then add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the sprouts, sprinkle sprouts with about 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic, cover and simmer for about 4 minutes or 5 minutes. Remove cover, and continue cooking until all liquid has evaporated. After liquid has evaporated, continue cooking until cut side of sprouts have caramelized. Serve.
why do most of these suggested recipes have heavy cream in them? No matter how good the brussels sprouts may be for you saturating them in the heavy cream(or butter) and over cooking them turns them into empty carbs. I know fat equals flavor, but fat also equals fat.
My three year old son calls them "Martian heads", an apt description. I loathe them, but my husband loves those green-cabbagey things.
i love them steamed but i really love them in homemade vegetable beef soup. ti take left over pot roast complete with drippings add all the veggies i want, tomato juice, salt, pepper, lawreys seasoning salt, and cook till veggies are done serve with crackers or cornbread ....yummmmmm on a cold winter day.
My favorite brussels sprouts recipe:
Put brussels sprouts in pan.
Dump pan in the garbage.
Go get a beer instead.
Not a fan at all of these things, I'd rather tee them up and smack them with my driver.
LM AO! Thank you Erik!
I love Brussels sprouts. My wife hates them. I think people’s taste buds are different. If someone doesn't like something trying to convince them it's good well, isn't going to do any good.
There are a relatively small percentage of people who try Durian fruit and think it’s good. They love it. For most of us it makes us gag. It is so foul smelling for most people that it is prohibited from being served near hotels and restaurants in Southeast Asia and yet some people say it smells and tastes good. I wonder if they like Brussels sprouts too?
It's the same thing with cilantro. To me it tastes like soap and other people think it tastes fresh and greeny (whatever that is). The phenomenon has been studied and there has been shown to be a genetic correlation. I would not be surprised if it is true for durian and brussel sprouts to given people's such strong reactions (the latter I could eat like candy I love them so much).
Yes, it actually is genetic. Google it. Genes also affect which type of perfumes you'll like. I hate cilantro but I love Brussels sprouts. Guess they're different genes.
I'm not convinced.
Reblogged this on maleamorphosis and commented:
one of my favorite vegetables...drizzled with olive oil, crushed red/black pepper and roasted in a cast iron skillet.
Favorite vegetable, hands down. Has recently dethroned asparagus in my book.
I have never liked asparagus...brussels are the best. Nothing on them.
i finally tried asparagus wrapped w/ boneless skinless chicken thighs...and was surprised how much i enjoyed making/eating them.