I just had Brussel Sprouts at a restaurant - how did they make them taste great?

I pushed myself to go beyond boundaries. When a shared appetizer for our group came with Brussel Sprouts I tried it and they were absolutely delicious.

In my previous experience I would say that Brussel Sprouts are the nastiest things ever purported to be food.

These were much smaller than I’d seen before. So, how did the do it? Proper cooking method, or do the bigger and mature ones include the horrible taste?

IMHO boiled/steamed brussel sprouts( a la my parents )are nasty. Roasted brussel sprouts are awesome.

Easiest thing is to coat them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them for 30-45 minutes( depending on size and how crispy you like them ) at ~400 degrees. But there are a million variations on that theme. Tossed in some sort of vinaigrette afterwords or assorted glazes beforehand are also common. Bacon also pairs very, very well with them.

There are a ton of recipes on line and I’m sure folks will post some.

It isn’t hard to make Brussels Sprouts the right way(s). In fact, it is probably harder to screw them up but people have been doing it for decades. There is no secret. You just pick a better recipe and many of the good ones are dead simple. Here is one example.


Brussels Sprouts just don’t respond well to the “boil it to the inch of its life” school of 1950’s cooking.

There’s a place in Los Gatos that has a shaved Brussels sprout salad with Pecorino Romano cheese, walnuts, red onions and bacon. Delish!

I too fell in love with brussels sprouts as an adult, after horrible childhood experiences with them. The key IMO is roasting them & proper seasoning.

They were probably roasted, and 52% bacon.

It doesn’t just have to be roasting. Sautéed they are just as good and, in some ways easier. You just have to slice them a bit thinner.

But yes, heat and salt and fat are critical. This is why bacon is a good addition. So are onions.

Nothing responds well to the 1950s style of boil-until-gray-mush. Maybe Brussels sprouts respond even more poorly than most to that treatment, but I wouldn’t know, because I avoid that style of cooking as much as possible.

EDIT: Oh, and don’t forget raw. I’ve had some great coleslaw made from them.

I always trim the stem a bit because it is usually brown, then I cut them in half if they are medium sized. I try to avoid the large ones as they are a little tougher. I put them in a one gallon ziplock bag and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes or until they just start to turn a little brown.

Don’t just cut the stems off; slice the sprouts in half vertically and core them.

I think balsamic vinegar also makes a good glaze when you roast them.

Roast them or pan fry them, and they’re delicious. Boil the shit out of them, and they’re disgusting. They also make a nice coleslaw.

I once had great green beans roasted in a wood burning oven. I asked the chef what he added to make them so tasty. He said: “heat”.

But, you can make really tasty Brussel sprouts by steaming or boiling them. I usually do the latter. I cut them in half, and cook til crisp tender. Do it uncovered, I think that helps release the sulphur.

To make it even more awesome, heat up butter in a pan until the bubbling stops and then turn off the heat. Put in a bunch of minced shallots, lots of black pepper, and salt. Add the sprouts, mix them for a minute, and squeeze a bit of lemon on them. Delicious.

Another vote for roasting or saute for sprouts. I roast with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I saute with olive oil and a little bacon fat added. Balsamic vinegar and honey makes a good dressing.

Exactly how I do them, except I use “convection roast” setting for 30 minutes. Ideally I get some burnt and chard sprouts. I also add some crushed red pepper to spice them up.

Your use of ‘chard’ had me double and triple taking since that leafy green vegetable wouldn’t be out of place in this sort of thread.

And if it’s some charred sprouts you’re after, separate some individual leaves and place them on top of the rest. They’ll cook faster and get crispy.

At first I thought I must have posted this, as it is dead-on except for one glaring error (roast 'em at 375 degrees). :slight_smile:

We had some for Thanksgiving prepared this way and they were fantastic.

Properly steamed (to al dente texture and suitably spiced/salt-and-peppered), brussels sprouts are fine too, just not as good as roasted.

This thread reminds me to roast some more today to eat with the Thanksgiving leftovers, as the initial batch of sprouts was quickly consumed. :frowning:

How about in an air fryer? I just got an air fryer and am experimenting, have you done brussels sprouts? Whole, halves?

+4 roasted. It’s the best way to do practically any vegetable iyam.

I had a fried brussels sprout appetizer at a restaurant earlier this month, so I would expect this to work quite well.

Their secret is the same as every other restaurant: butter. It’s the first and last thing to go into every single item of every single dish.