Produce Superstars: Brussels Sprouts, The Veggie We’ve Learned to Love


At this time of year, you may be able to buy brussels sprouts on the stalk, insuring greater freshness.

Some people say you’re not fully adult until you have children, but I wonder if it isn’t a little more simple than that. I think you’re fully an adult once you’ve learned to love brussels sprouts.  Notice I said “love,” merely tolerating them doesn’t cut it. O.K., I’m kidding, but you must admit there’s some truth to it. Not so long ago, I thought I didn’t like the little buggers. Much of what people don’t like about them, I’ve learned, is due to overcooking, when they can smell (and taste) downright unpleasant. So, let’s agree to go light on the cooking, which also improves their nutritional profile.  Members of the same family as broccoli, kale and cabbage, they are high in vitamins A and C, folic acid and antioxidants, including sulforaphane, a chemical thought to have potent anti-cancer properties.  Eat them in good health, and love them for their taste. Roasting, steaming and sautéing are all good cooking methods for brussels sprouts.  Ina Garten’s recipe for roasting them is here, and my recipe for sautéed brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and lemon zest is after the jump.


Brussels sprouts sauté with olive oil, toasted hazelnuts and lemon zest (recipe after the jump).



Once your ingredients are prepped, this recipe goes very fast, so I’d suggest doing it when the rest of your meal is nearly ready.

(2 servings)

6 ounces brussels sprouts (about 20-22 medium sprouts), trimmed and a 1/3-inch slit made up from the bottom.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon mirin

2 teaspoons lemon zest and 2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

1.Place brussels sprouts in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 5 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender yet crisp (if you decide to double or triple the recipe, you may need to increase the cooking time a little).

2. When brussels sprouts are ready, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or hazelnut oil in a large sauté pan, add the brussels sprouts and sauté over medium-high heat for  2 minutes.  Add the mirin, lemon juice and zest, and salt and pepper. Sauté 4-5 minutes more or until the sprouts are partially caramelized.  Check seasoning.

3. Add the hazelnuts, stir, and serve.


2 responses

  1. Chef Gary prepared these brussel sprouts at his recent cooking class. Prepared as Gary prescribes in this recipe, the brussel sprouts are fabulous! There is no bitterness, which is what I always objected to with this vegetable. AND as Gary said, this is a vegetable that will really work for your health, so why shouldn’t it be delicious as well. The photograph is glorious; thank you, Gary, for this inspiring recipe!

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