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A Bounty of Brussels Sprouts

By Alana Sugar, November 14, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

Oven Roasted Brussels SproutsFall brings to market a slew of cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. I’m lucky to love them all, but that’s not always the case for others.  It seems cabbage is cool in salads and slaws, broccoli rocks with cheese sauce, kale is hip among the coolest of foodies, and cauliflower is the new “mashed potato” for the lo-carb crowd, but the bold and brawny beauty of the Brussels sprout has often been overlooked. (Have you seen those gorgeous Brussels sprouts stalks?) 

Brussels sprouts reach their peak between September and mid-February, so now’s the time to partake in the bounty of Brussels sprouts. If you’ve shied away from Brussels sprouts in the past, I urge you to keep an open mind and be bold.  Give them another try, but bear in mind a couple of things:

  • If they are over-cooked or burnt, canned, rotten or otherwise maimed, they are definitely a no-go. But when cooked right, oh my! They are really, really good!
  • They can be a bit bitter (as can many cruciferous veggies), and once cooked, they do have that special off-putting “aroma” so common to the crucifer. This comes from sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that make these veggies among the healthiest.

Brussels sprouts are right at home in many dishes, including omelets, salads, grain dishes and side dishes. They are complemented by aromatics such as onion, ginger, herbs and garlic. When shopping, purchase small, firm, compact Brussels sprouts. They should be green, not yellow or brown. If possible, choose similar sizes for more even cooking. If you’re not using them right away, store them in a sealed plastic bag for up to four days.  Here are tips and recipes to help you enjoy the best of the brawny Brussels sprouts:  

Are you big on Brussels sprouts? Got a favorite recipe? Let me know!

Category: Food & Recipes




Devin says ...
We never had brussel sprouts when I was growing up, I recently tried them and loved them!! I never tried making them so all that information is soo useful, thanks!! (especially the part about why they smell the way they do haha)
11/14/2012 11:47:18 AM CST
Lynda Meier says ...
My family loves Brussel Sprouts Hash at Elways. Do you have a recipe like or similar to theirs? Would love to surprise them with this dish for Thanksgiving.
11/14/2012 6:07:41 PM CST
Latrice Palmer says ...
I toss them in olive oil with kosher salt, pepper and garlic and broil for about five minutes on each side. Simply scrumptious, my entire family likes them; and to think we use to be afraid of them.
11/14/2012 8:44:00 PM CST
Tim Hankins says ...
Chestnuts, Brussels Sprouts and some Rogue Smokey Blue cheese is fabulous! This has been part of our Thanksgiving for the last 5 years.
11/14/2012 10:02:16 PM CST
Ellen G Billings says ...
Give brussels sprouts (BSs) a brief bath in cold water with a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Drain and pat dry with paper towels or kitchen towel. Use sharp knife to cut BSs across the stem into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices, depending on BS size. Heat olive oil and a Tablespoon of butter until it begins to bubble and add BS slices. As BS begin to brown around edges, turn frequently with spatula to brown all sides. Continue to stir and cook until fork tender for crispy sprouts, or cover and steam to desired tenderness. Salt and pepper to taste. DONE! Serve!
11/15/2012 6:07:26 AM CST
Claudette Maria says ...
Thank you for the many ways to serve Brussel sprouts. I had no idea they are so versatile, and can be prepared by themselves or in combination with other foods. I no longer think of them as being just a great green vegetable side dish , but rather an exciting component to other dishes.I am anxious to try your many suggestions!!!!!
11/15/2012 6:24:53 AM CST
Andrew says ...
I think they look, taste, and smell best when roasted to a crispy brown. Blanch them first to get the cooking starting, then roast for about 10 minutes at 350. They should start to crisp and turn brown but if not yet, up the temp for a few minutes or just broil for 2-3 minutes. I also recently had deep fried brussel sprouts at a local Ann Arbor restaurant (Grange). They were mixed with some bacon or perhaps chicken skins (chicken cracklings?). Absolutely amazing. They were like savory candy and everyone at the table wanted to lick the bowl. Of course, all that oil and bacon makes it a bit less nutritious but holy cow, what flavor and texture.
11/15/2012 9:36:52 AM CST
dawn savas-reale says ...
brussell sprouts. wash, cut in half. take the core out of both pieces. take apart so they are just leaves. sauté in a little olive oil, thyme, sea salt, ground fresh pepper (a little) At the end of sauté add crushed pistachio nuts. completely different flavor with the core removed.
11/15/2012 12:20:54 PM CST
Ilse Godfrey says ...
Shaved brussel sprouts with chunky garlic brined kalamata olives (pitted and smashed) fresh thyme and marjoram or oregano. Simmer with dry white wine and a can of chicken stock. Season to taste with s&p. Serve over angel hair. In our family, we add simple canned chunk tuna for protein to balance the carbs of the pasta
11/15/2012 1:50:38 PM CST
Heather says ...
I have to say when I roast Brussels sprouts if they aren't a deep golden brown on the bottom side then I won't eat them. They get sweet and the bitterness goes away. Add some tzatsiki sauce and I'm in Heaven!
11/15/2012 8:52:00 PM CST
Rachel Lacow says ...
I LOVE Brussels Sprouts! They are my favorite vegetable. I will eat them any which way, but tossing them with some olive oil and roasting them is too die for! (Also pan sauteing them with some onions and pancetta or quanciale is equally FABULOUS!!!)
11/18/2012 6:00:33 PM CST
marmaladesky says ...
I love them! Just steamed is fine with me, or go all the way and bread and bake them. I came across a blog a few days ago that said freezing Brussels sprouts removes the bitter taste (clean fresh Brussels sprouts, then pop in the freezer until you're ready to use). Worth a try!
11/21/2012 1:39:37 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LYNDA - We found a recipe online at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Brussels-Sprout-Hash-with-Caramelized-Shallots-240411. Let us know if they enjoy it!
11/23/2012 3:05:03 PM CST
Beverly says ...
I would live the recipe for your Shaved Brussel Sprouts, Kale & dried cranberry salad. It is amazing! Thank you in advance for the recipe!
08/12/2013 11:41:12 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@BEVERLY - I was unable to find this recipe on our main website, which means it was a yummy creation from one of our in-store or regional chefs. Check with the store where you purchased this dish and they'll be happy to share it with you if they have one a recipe on hand!
08/13/2013 10:43:09 AM CDT
Cheryl says ...
I would love to have the recipe for your Shaved Brussel Sprout and Kale Slaw. I bought some the other night and it was absolutely wonderful.
01/28/2014 3:08:25 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CHERYL - I searched through the recipes we have online and wasn't able to find one that matched your search (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/search/brussels). If you don't find it online either, this probably means it was a creation by one of our team members in-house. You can always call the store directly where you bought this and ask if they have a recipe!
01/29/2014 4:59:57 PM CST
linda brady says ...
I went to whole foods Portland me looking for recipe for kale and Brussels sprouts with apple and maple bacon salad It had a maple syrup and vinegar dressing
03/23/2014 7:58:23 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@LINDA - Was this a dish made at the Portland store? If so, I would suggest reaching out to them to see if they have a recipe. Otherwise, we have a few Brussels sprout recipes at http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/search/brussels.
03/24/2014 2:50:55 PM CDT
Pauline Thompson says ...
I was just in your Whole Foods in Hazelton Lanes, Toronto. They had brussel sprouts with yukon gold potatoes, onion and maybe bacon. It was delish. Where can I find that recipe.
04/13/2014 11:56:26 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@PAULINE - Since this was something made in-house, I would suggest reaching out to that store in particular to see if they have a recipe. You can reach them at 416.944.0500.
04/15/2014 1:26:03 PM CDT
Christopher says ...
@BEVERLY and @NIKKI, I'm with you. I got the shaved Brussels sprouts and kale salad with dried cranberries salad the other day at a Whole Foods in Phoenix and it was excellent. I'm hoping that recipe finds its way up to the internets, but perhaps I can get the recipe locally!
10/28/2014 2:01:26 PM CDT
Staci Munic says ...
Can I please get the recipe for the shaved Brussels sprout slaw (with dried cranberries, parm. cheese,) Thanks!
01/13/2015 9:28:06 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STACI - We didn't have an online recipe similar to your description so I would guess this is a dish made in house. Check with the store where you have purchased this. If they have a recipe to share, they'll be happy to share it!
01/13/2015 12:00:51 PM CST
Rosemary says ...
I don't like brussels sprouts; however, our Kentland, MD store features raw brussels sprouts and raw kale in a salad on the veg/salad bar. I love it! I want the recipe to serve on my birthday, March 9th. Do you give the recipes to loyal customers! Thanks ahead. Rosemary
01/28/2015 5:51:24 PM CST