04 March 2011

braised brussels sprouts

Yup, more brussels sprouts. Awhile ago I tweeted some quote I found about brussels sprouts being so very hip right now. Also turnips/parsnips--I always get them mixed up-- and, I believe, beets. Suspicious veggies are all the rage.  I also found an article that asked, "Is 2011 the year of the vegetable?" I don't understand the question.

In the time since my first brussels sprouts adventure as an adult, we've made both a brussels sprouts gratin and this dish. The gratin was obviously delicious, because everything was covered with cheese. I was nervous about this one because it doesn't mask their flavor or texture at all. It celebrates those strange miniature cabbages in all of their hipster glory.  I found this recipe in a favorite stand-by, Molly Katzen's The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without. The first time through we followed it exactly, making an awesome maple mustard sauce to pour over top. Last night, though, we substituted raw honey for the maple syrup and it came out just as delicious.

Braised Brussels Sprouts in a Sweet Mustard Sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 4 cups (1 lb) brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 to 6 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp real maple syrup (or honey!)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and swirl to coat the pan.  Saute the onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened, then add brussels sprouts and salt and saute for another 5 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle in 4 tbsp of water and cover. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes, until the sprouts are bright green and fork-tender. I love watching them turn bright green, they look so much more appealing when they are cooked. You might need to add another tbsp or two in to prevent sticking, but I don't think I had to. Just keep an eye on it.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and maple syrup (or honey) until smooth. Add to pan and cook for another minute or two. Serve hot, warm or at room temp with some black pepper.
This makes about four side dish servings. We paired it with a completely made-up casserole of butternut squash, spinach, spelt bread, eggs & cheddar .  Besides being an alleged hot trend right now, brussels sprouts are packed with all sorts of nutrients, just  like most of the weird vegetables I used to refuse to eat. They contain lots of fiber (so, ya know, easy does it), detoxifying agents, folate, and vitamins A and C. Apparently they boost the immune system, help your heart, fight cancer and give you awesome skin. And most importantly, they'll make you hipper than a skinny teenager in jeggings, a plaid shirt and thick-framed glasses on a fixed-gear bike.


  1. Mmm, this looks yummy! I love just about anything with brussels sprouts :)

  2. LOVE your blog! And I love brussel sprouts! I learned that if you boil them in chicken broth instead of water it takes away the slight bitter taste (although I personally don't mind it.)

    Come enter my giveaway


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