Question: How to cook brussel sprouts?

June 7, 2012
I want so much to like brussel sprouts! I have tried them roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bacon crumbs, boiled, and steamed. I have even tried them in vegetable soup and chicken pot pie. They are bitter no matter how I cook them. I have grown my own and have tried fresh store bought. Could someone please help? What am I doing wrong?


Sheri Wetherell's picture

Unfortunately, Brussels sprouts are just naturally little bitter creatures :) But, I have found that the smaller ones tend to be less bitter. It helps to pair them with sweeter vegetables/fruits to balance out their strong flavor, and to obtain a nice caramelization on the sprouts when roasting or sauteeing. Try them with some sauteed apples and bacon, or caramelized onions. Then, toss in a little balsamic vinegar in either preparation to deglaze the pan, then add your sauteed sprouts (which should be quartered or halved).

A quick and easy preparation that we also love is to cook halved sprouts in salted water (just shy of sea water salty like you'd cook pasta) until just tender but not fully cooked (nothing worse than soggy sprouts!), then toss them in a high heat saute pan with some olive oil to get them crisp. To serve, toss them with a bit of butter and a good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Hope that helps, and bless you for not giving up on the sprouts! :)


John Westwood's picture

WHY cook them Fabulous raw even finely sliced and mixed through a green salad.
I have heard but not yet tried flash deep fried sprouts and quite nutty in flavour.
Steamed until just past firm and added to liver, bacon, mashed potatoes and onion and mushroom gravy does wonders for sprouts

BethO's picture

Thank you, John. I am trying to say away from deep fried anything, but I will definitely give the salad try and I love liver and onions!

John Westwood's picture

Last night I saw on Masterchef,( ...... episode segment 3-6 shows the judging 2-6 shows some of the cooking ) one of contestants using brussel sprout leaves in a salad entree.
If using shredded sprouts in the salad be sparing so you get a "Mm what's that ? " rather than overstating the sprouts

BethO's picture

You are so very kind! Thank you for thinking of me and sending this information. I will defiantly check this out!
I am determined to learn to eat the right foods and take care of myself. I am sure this will be very helpful.

BethO's picture

Thank you, Sheri. I will give your ideas a try!