Share your Brussels sprouts recipe

Due to some health issues I’ve mentioned lately, I’m trying to get more veggies and leafy greens into my diet. Today I was at the store looking for some quick meals and I saw a pack of frozen Brussels sprouts with butter sauce. I’ve only eaten them once in my life before, but I remembered them being tasty, so I bought the pack and heated it up to eat a little while ago.

My memory has not forsaken me - they are tasty. They’re slightly more bitter than cabbage, but softer and more chewable. I like them and want to eat more of them. I’m sure that freezing and microwaving them kills some of the nutrients I might get from fresh sprouts, but I’ve never cooked them before and I don’t know how to handle them or how to cook them.

Is there any essential prep you need to do with fresh sprouts before cooking them? What is your favorite way to cook them? I’m reading that sauteeing them in bacon grease is delicious if not necessarily the most healthful way to eat them. What accompaniments would you recommend to enhance the flavor?

Like you said, roughly chopped and sautéed in bacon or chicken fat with shallots with just a few splashes of shoyu and a very light touch of brown sugar. Served alongside roast chicken and potatoes.

A bit of lemon juice never hurts.

I cut them in half vertically and steam them until they’re soft, then saute them with some bacon bits and a little garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

I suppose you could also saute them in butter or olive oil, if you want something healthier. Maybe use pancetta instead of regular bacon.

Fresh is not necessarily better than frozen. If they are picked and snap frozen promptly, they might be “fresher” than ones you’d by from the fruit n veg shop.

I use this recipe a lot, using wine over stock or water. One caveat: they often take a lot longer than 10 minutes to cook, especially if they’re on the large side.

Roast fresh sprouts in the oven after drizzling them with balsamic vinegar and a little bit of (real) maple syrup and sprinkling them with bacon bits.

I had them prepared this way in a fancy restaurant once and loved them. I asked the waiter about preparation and he explained it to me, as above. I tried it at home and they came out just as tasty as the restaurant’s very pricey appetizer version.

Very easy to make, too.

Halve fresh sprouts then toss them with some oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic. Roast at high heat until some are a bit charred/burnt.

You can also make them into a slaw, if you want some variety.

My typical prep is roasting or shredding and then pan-frying. I used to only do it the former way, but lately, I’ve been doing them the latter, as it’s much quicker. Just sautee it up with whatever flavorings you like. I don’t bother with bacon, even (although sauteeing in bacon, pancetta/guanciale/chicken/duck fat is wonderful.) I typically use just some olive or even sunflower oil, salt, and pepper, a bit of garlic, and I’m good. This prep is also niced tossed with bite-sized pasta like orecchiette served with plenty of pecorino or parmesan cheese.

That’s what ai jsually do only under the broiler. Finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar or sesame oil.

A local market cures their own bacon and sells the leftover “ends.” They’re basically bacon nuggets. I’ll render them down with the halved sprouts and finish in the oven. I use cast iron so I can transfer directly from the stovetop.

The larger bacon pieces go really nicely with the sprouts.

A handful of pine nuts is a nice addition. And mixing with cooked rice is an alternative to the pasta.

Everyone’s pretty much on point here. Don’t love 'em myself, but my wife does. For the potentially healthiest/lowest fat approach, you can get microwave-in-bag brussels sprouts in most major groceries – nuke em to your desired degree of tenderness (will probably need to experiment) and then toss em with a sprinkle of kosher salt, pepper, thyme, a little garlic or onion powder.

My preferred approach is to melt a little bit of bacon fat in a large cast iron skillet on the stovetop, on medium-high heat, while preheating the oven to 350 or so (I use a convection oven, so I usually go a little lower on temp). Take a quart or gallon sized ziploc bag and pour in a bit of cardamom, thyme, and pepper (sometimes white pepper depending on my mood). A very small drizzle of olive oil or vegetable oil, and a teaspoon or so maple syrup and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. If the sprouts are on the large side, I’ll usually half them so that they don’t take as long to cook through, then toss 'em in the bag, zip it, and shake very well to coat with oil and seasonings. Dump the sprouts into the skillet and saute for a few minutes, until the looser leaves begin to wilt/brown a bit, then move the skillet into the oven. Roast 'em that way until there’s a light char on the outer leaves and they’re cooked through.

You can also dispense with the skillet and bacon fat and just put the sprouts in the oven on a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil on it (just saves effort in cleaning up).

If my wife’s to be believed, you can pretty much omit any of those elements that don’t appeal to you without fundamentally affecting the overall success.

My only Brussel sprouts recipe used to be:

But after having them prepared a la kayaker, I actually liked them and now even order them at restaurants some time if they’re prepared like that. If you’re at all not a fan, try them like that and see if you change your mind like I did. Be sure to get a good char on them. That’s very important.

Very similar to my sautéed kale recipe. I find that sautéing in coconut oil makes the kale slide into the can with minimal effort!

Separate the leaves and make baked chips.

You can buy a bag of unfrozen sliced brussels sprouts at Trader Joes–very easy to fry up with balsamic vinegar, or soy sauce, or whatever.

My wife grows them in our garden, and we make them as described previously up thread, but we also enjoy this recipe from one of our favorite restaurants :

*It starts with a generous handful of vibrant green
Brussels Sprouts. We drop them into the fryer with
a blend of fresh herbs – it doesn’t take long for the
outer leaves to crisp while the inside layers become
steamed and tender.

We blend just-squeezed lime and fish sauce
and then toss the hot and crispy sprouts in the
mixture. For a dish packed with bold flavors and
contrasting textures, we dress the sprouts with a
drizzle of house-made sesame-sriracha aïoli, sweet
cashew dip, fresh cilantro, a few snips of fresh mint,
and crunchy toasted cashews. A wedge of fresh
lime comes out with the dish – a gentle squeeze
brightens the dish with a final flair.*

This recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts is close to what we usually do, and as simple as it gets. Maybe a splash of balsamic vinegar after roasting. Also we usually cut them in half and roast with the cut side down, this causes the cut side to caramelize better.

A bit more work than just roasting them, but:

I sometimes core and slice them very thin, sautee with crushed garlic, chopped sweet onion or shallot & lemon zest, in olive oil, until sprouts are just cooked but still a little crunchy, then mixed with goat’s cheese, prosciutto & pine nuts all minced quite fine, seasoned and used to fill phyllo triangles in the usual way - brushed with melted butter of course. Baked until the phyllo is crispy.

This is true for a lot of foods, not just sprouts.

I really like them made the way kayaker makes his. Roasting improves the flavor of a lot of vegs, and it’s very easy to do.