Brussels Sprouts: Three Surprisingly Yummy Ways

Beautiful Brussels Sprouts

I am a late bloomer, when it comes to my discovery of Brussels sprouts.  How could I have gone so long without them? I attribute this gap in my vegetable repertoire to the inexplicable dislike in our society that has led to a total lack of awareness.  Why do people hate them so much anyways?  Since my cabbage enlightenment, I have found many great ways to serve them (and as you may have guessed from the title of this blog, I’m about to share some of them with you).  They are essentially a staple in our kitchen and I often serve them for company or special occasions.  They have made a complete John Travolta comeback – from b-lister to superstar.

As I have searched for new Brussels sprouts recipes, I made two amazing discoveries:  (1) almost every one was rated extremely high, and (2) at least half of the comments said something like “I don’t normally like Brussels sprouts, but…”.  I guess they have just gotten a bad rap, because people seem to be continually surprised by how yummy and versatile they actually are.

Brussels sprouts growing in the Templeton urban garden.

This year we are growing Brussels sprouts in our backyard garden.  They are really darling little plants (check out the leaves – they are so identifiable as Brussels sprouts).  I hope to discover more great ways to serve them up, but for now, here are my 3 favorite Brussels sprouts recipes.  If you make any of these, don’t be surprised if you get many surprised comments from family and friends like  “Hmm?  That’s pretty good.  I never really liked Brussels sprouts before.…”  Enjoy!

 Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lime 
(Adapted from Gourmet on Epicurious.com

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lime

Ingredients:
1 lb of Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (or olive oil)
3 scallions, chopped
1 clove of garlic (optional)
2-3 teaspoon fresh lime juice (from 2-3 lemons)
salt and pepper, to taste
Directions:
Shred Brussels sprouts – in food processor or cut sprouts in half and slice thin lengthwise. In a heavy skillet melt butter over medium heat.  Add sprouts, scallions, and garlic and sauté, stirring until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
(Adapted from Barefoot Contessa on FoodNetwork.com)

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:
1 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for pan
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and brush sheet pan with olive oil.  Cut off the ends of the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer them to a sheet pan (sliced side down) and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp outside and tender inside.

Brussels Sprout Salad
(Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis on FoodNetwork.com)

Brussels Sprout Salad

Ingredients:
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 cups arugula (or spinach works too)
1/2 cup chopped almonds (or pistachios are good too!)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions:
To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Remove the outer dark green leaves from the Brussels sprouts (reserve the lighter green cores for another use). Boil the Brussels sprout leaves over medium high heat for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water, then drain again. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and toss together.

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