Learn About Brussels Sprouts

Author: Chef Toby

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What are Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are a small round vegetable belonging to the family of cruciferous vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Brussels sprouts are a light leafy green color, with tightly compacted leaves and a thick, short, woody stalk at the bottom. They are often compared to mini cabbages and are used in a variety of different cuisines. 

What do Brussels Sprouts taste like?

Brussels sprouts have a flavor similar to cabbage when eaten raw, but have a nutty, savory flavor when cooked. 

How do you eat Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and are eaten boiled, steamed, sauteed, fried, baked, or even raw. Overcooking them by boiling is a common mistake, and can give them a bitter flavor and mushy texture. They pair well with rich foods such as bacon, cheese, olive oil, and eggs, but also taste great when paired with lemon zest or a tangy vinaigrette. Brussels sprouts are commonly cooked with crumbled bacon until tender and often dressed with a balsamic vinegar glaze.

Where can you buy Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts can be found at most large grocery stores year-round, but the vegetable’s peak season is from late August to March. They can be found fresh in the produce section, either loose or in plastic packaging, or can be found frozen in the freezer aisle. 

How do you store Brussels sprouts?

Store fresh Brussels sprouts in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator, for up to a week. Put cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze blanched sprouts for up to a year. 

Fun Fact About Brussels Sprouts:

Brussels sprouts grow on a long, thick stalk that has large leaves up at the top. During their peak, Brussels sprouts are sold at grocery stores still attached to the stalk.

Did you know?

It’s believed that Brussels sprouts were cultivated in 16th-century Belgium. They get their name after the capital of Belgium, Brussels. 

Recipes Using Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese and Lemon 

On a large baking sheet, add Brussels sprouts and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake the Brussels sprouts until crispy. Transfer them to a serving dish and top with crumbled goat cheese, lemon zest, and honey. 

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic Glaze

In a large frying pan, add in sliced bacon and fry until crispy. Set the bacon aside and drain on a paper towel. Using the bacon drippings, add brussels sprouts, onions, and garlic, and cook until tender and some spots on the Brussel sprouts have caramelized. Crumble the bacon into the pan and drizzle with a reduced balsamic vinegar glaze. 

Shaved Raw Brussels Sprouts Salad

Skip the cooking and enjoy raw sprouts with this simple salad. Toss thinly sliced Brussels sprouts with thin slices of apple, walnuts, cranberries, and shaved parmesan cheese. Dress the salad in a mustard vinaigrette.

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