Give thanks for Brussels sprouts

brussels sprouts

Raise your hand if you don’t like Brussels sprouts. Okay, now put your hand down so that you don’t reflexively hit me when I tell you that you can like this cruciferous veggie. In fact, you can make it this weekend for Thanksgiving dinner and get rave reviews. I speak the truth.

I know it’s hard to believe me when there are so many nasty Brussels sprout memories competing with my claim. But trust me: the reason you don’t like Brussels sprouts is because you’ve eaten them either 1. overcooked or 2. cooked when they were too old. Honest.

In fact, I didn’t think I liked Brussels sprouts either until I started buying them on the stalk and learned that they don’t need to be boiled to death.

Ready to take the plunge? The first step is to find fresh, young Brussels sprouts. You can hit a farmers’ market or a good grocery store that brings in fresh, local vegetables. While on the stalk, the sprouts should be firm and the outer leaves shouldn’t be yellowed or wilted in any way. The stalk should be pale green and heavy. To use the sprouts, simply cut them off the stalk and peel away any loose outer leaves. Easier than shucking corn!

Maple Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts

2 tsp (30 mL) olive or other vegetable oil
1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced leeks
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 tsp (4 mL) dried thyme leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper (approx.)
4 cups (1 L) halved small or quartered large Brussels sprouts
3/4 cup (175 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) each maple syrup and whole grain Dijon mustard

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the leeks, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Increase the temperature to medium-high and add the sprouts.

Stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the water and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until liquid is evaporated and the sprouts are almost fork tender.

Stir in the maple syrup and mustard. Cook, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sprouts are browned and fork tender. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Makes 6 servings.


13 Responses to Give thanks for Brussels sprouts

  1. Daniel says:

    Happy upcoming Thanksgiving Dana! And yes, like most people I used to hate Brussels sprouts like the plague when I was a kid, only to learn in my 30s that they weren’t so bad after all if “not boiled to death.” Ah, the foolishness of youth.

    Casual Kitchen

  2. Rosa says:

    I am a Brussel sprout addict! Those little things are so delicious and can make the most refined dish… Your recipe is wonderful!



  3. My husband’s family is split down the middle on Brussels sprouts. I don’t like them but think I’ve had overcooked bitter ones.

    I like the sound of this recipe and if I can find tender sprouts at the market this weekend MIGHT (no promises) give this a try. I trust you. Enough to consider eating this vegetable. But you won’t budge me on beets!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  4. Yum! I LOVE brussel sprouts! You’ve just given me another way to prepare them. My favourite way is roasted with pancetta and balsamic vinegar.

  5. Barb says:

    I love, no that’s too much, am very fond of Brussels Sprouts, too! Just not the way my mother cooks them. This recipe looks very good and definitely worth trying. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  6. Diva says:

    I’m with Rosa, I’m a Brussels sprouts addict! I could be happy with sprouts alone for dinner and these look excellent, Dana! I typically cook them in the same way, though have not tried the maple and mustard addition. I will though, and the leeks too. Yum!

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  7. Amanda S says:

    This looks fabulous.

    I grew up on brussel sprouts at just about every holiday meal; but the typically British soggg and overcooked variety. I learned to love them again when I saw a recipe that called to slice them and sauté them lightly in butter, salt and pepper until tender (not soggy).

  8. danamccauley says:

    Thanks for your great comments folks! SOunds like there is a lot of affection out there for Brussels Sprouts – nice to see!

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all of you. : )

  9. […] So what’s a chef with too many of these organic cuties? Here’s what I’m trying tonight: Dana McCauley’s Maple Mustard Glazed Brussels Sprouts. […]

  10. Cheryl says:

    LOVE Brussels sprouts, but I’m the only one in my family who hearts them. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Terry says:

    I went to market this morning, and lo and behold, there was a nice ‘tree’ of brussel sprouts. I am definitely trying your recipe with them!! Thanks for posting it.

  12. Shaslam says:

    I bought ’em, I blanched ’em, I sauteed ’em with bacon, garlic and onions (3 things I LOVE) and I served ’em with the turkey and all I can say is “YUK”.
    They taste nothing like cabbage (which I love cooked) and they are just as gross as when I was a kid.
    My mom, dad, brother and husband declared they were the best sprouts they have ever tasted but my kids wouldn’t go near them and I regretted even trying them. Will I make ’em again next Thanksgiving?? Probably!!

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