5 Ways to Cook Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are the come-back kids of the vegetable world. And, why not? They are totally delicious when made correctly, and pretty adorable.
(Did you know they also come in purple!? We spotted some at the farmers market this week and had to snag them.)
This week, try one of these super easy methods for cooking them at home.
Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees F. Halve or quarter your brussel sprouts and toss them with plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them into a single layer on a baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd them. Roast, tossing every 10 minutes or so, until the outer leaves begin to char, and the sprouts are fork tender, 25 to 35 minutes.
Fancy it up: Want a little sweet-spicy-salty action? Toss the sprouts with a tablespoon of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup before roasting, along with some red pepper flakes for heat.
Shred your brussel sprouts using a sharp blade or mandoline, then combine shreds (about 5 cups) with about a cup of shredded carrots, a handful of sliced green onion, 1/4 cup mayo, yogurt, or vegan mayo, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar, some black pepper, and a couple slices of crisp-cooked bacon or coconut "bacon". Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the leaves to soften, then top with some toasted sliced almonds.
Make it your own: Don't have any almonds? Use pistachios or pine nuts. Want an Asian flair? Use a little sesame oil and throw in some orange slices and crispy wontons in place of the bacon. These shreds will stand up to almost any flavor you throw at them, just be sure to have an acid of some kind as it brightens it up and helps to "cook" the brussels.
The fat you pan-fry your sprouts in can add a lot of flavor, so be sure to start off with a glug of good olive oil, or some rendered bacon fat. Halve your brussels and heat your fat of choice over medium high in a large skillet. Place the sprouts cut-side down in the pan and leave them alone for about 5 minutes, or until there is a good, caramelized char on the flat side. Give them a stir and continue to cook until they are browned all over and tender (they will retain more al dente crunch than they would when roasting), another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Jazz it up: Add some chopped garlic, fresh herbs, or slices of hot chili and cook for another minute or two for more complex flavor.
Crispy-Tender Version: Halve a pound brussels sprouts (about four cups). Heat two inches of oil over medium-high in a heavy-bottomed pot. Use a brussel sprout leaf to test the oil, when it sizzles upon hitting the oil, you're ready to go. (If you like using a thermometer, then get your oil up to about 360 degrees). Add 1/3 of halved brussels sprouts, careful not to let the oil splash you. Fry, turning occasionally, until crisp, golden brown, and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt. Fry remaining sprouts in batches, returning oil to 360 degrees between each batch.
Extra-Crispy Version: Trim the stem end of the sprouts and gently separate the leaves with your fingers, collecting them in a large bowl. When you reach the heart of the sprout, add the heart to the bowl with the leaves. Set about 2 inches of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Heat until a Brussels sprout leaf begins to sizzle and crisp as soon as you add it to the oil. Fry the sprouts in batches, for about 30 seconds to a minute, removing the sprouts with a slotted spoon when crisp and brown. Drain them on a double layer of paper towels while you fry the rest of the sprouts.
Make 'em the star of the table: In a small bowl, whisk together a tablespoon sriracha, 3 tablespoons honey, and the juice of one large lime. Once all the sprouts are fried, transfer them to a large bowl and sprinkle them generously with salt, then toss gently with a drizzle of the sauce until coated lightly. Add more sauce to taste. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds and serve right away.
Halve your brussel sprouts. Fill a large, wide pot with 2 inches of water and place a metal steamer basket inside. Bring the water to a simmer, add the brussel sprouts to the basket, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam until the brussel sprouts are bright green (or purple!) and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then add butter and plently of salt and pepper.
Get creative: Brussels are basically mini-cabbages, so when they are steamed, they're ready to soak up anything you toss them with. Try coating the cooked sprouts with leftover homemade dressing, lemon, garlic, and parmesan, some pesto, fresh herbs, a quick ginger-sesame vinaigrette, whatever flavors you are in the mood for.