"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Not Your Mother’s Brussels Sprouts

by Julie on March 5, 2012

in Green Goddess, Dinner, Vegetarian

The way to Brussels

Everybody says they hate Brussels sprouts because of the way they had them as kids; boiled and rubbery. I vaguely remember my mom making them (frozen, of course), and strangely enough, I rather liked them. I thought of them as little heads of lettuce. I thought they tasted green. I liked them dunked in butter.

Still, I don’t often think of Brussels sprouts and I don’t think I’ve ever actually tried them at home myself. Have my kids even ever seen one? It’s a mystery. So when I noticed the fine looking fresh specimens winking at me the other day from my local farm stand, I procured and went looking for something worthy to do with them.

I didn’t have to look far. Heidi, of 101 Cookbooks, hooked me up, of course.  You really can’t go wrong with her vegetarian recipes.

One day I’m gonna start a fan site: The Heidi Chronicles, or something. The BHC tries every single recipe on 101 Cookbooks…except for the ones that have tofu…

I digress. I instantly found what I was looking for: Golden-crusted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan. Oh yeah!

She notes in the text that this isn’t really a recipe -nothing involved but a skillet and some olive oil and sea salt. Well. That and a little technique will get you a side dish. But this is me we’re talking about.

Here’s what you need:

24 small Brussels Sprouts
1 tablespoon good olive oil
sea salt, pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cut your Brussels in half and rub the flats with olive oil. Heat your oil in a skillet gently (don’t let it get too hot) and place the B-sprouts flat side down and add a pinch or two of salt. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes or until the bottoms start to get brown. Taste to see if they’re tender. If not, cover and let them cook a bit more.

When just tender, uncover, turn up the heat and cook until the bottoms are deep brown and caramelized. Toss a few times to cook the other side. Season expertly, and throw on that cheese.


Because I’m me, I did this all backwards (braised them uncovered then covered on high heat) and forgot the cheese entirely and they were still delicious!


golden Crusted with lemon

The kids loved them too.  This means they’re going on rotation. Here’s hoping the remember them more fondly when they grow up.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Stewart Yerton March 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Hey Julie,
We do almost exactly this recipe but roast them in the oven. The kids love them. Also, when you roast them you invariably end up with some loose leaves that get crispy like Brussels sprout chips.


Debbie from THS March 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Julie, you had me with the title and your first written line. There are too many veggies out there in the big, bad world that I have such a hard time with due to “Mother’s prep”, but I will definitely try this method! May the memories of bitterness be erased! Huzzah.


Ann Spivack March 6, 2012 at 3:24 pm

I like Brussels sprouts better raw — you shave them on a mandoline but it’s not too much trouble. I leave out the eggs and cheese and make this for vegan friends, who love it.



Julie March 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

But What do you do with shaved Brussels and nothing else….surely you tart them up somehow….?


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