There are two kinds of people in the world: those who hate Brussels sprouts, and those who once hated Brussels sprouts but have since learned simple tricks for making them delicious and so now find themselves converted into the cult of Brussels sprouts believers.
Many folks travel this familiar route on their journey from total disgust to Brussels-are-a-must. "Like another reviewer," says Thisni Caza, "my childhood experience with Brussels sprouts was traumatizing, and after fifty-seven years, now that I'm all grown up, time to try again."
Caza came around when she came across Chef John's Roasted Brussels Sprouts: "I can safely say that they were the best Brussels sprouts I've ever eaten. I am giving them 5 stars; I think this is a great recipe and method for cooking these little gems."
So for those who remain unconvinced, who have yet to find their path to Brussels, here are some simple tips and tricks (spoiler alert: there will be bacon) that make Brussels sprouts not just bearable but unbelievably delicious. Give 'em a try!
Here's the recipe that completely changed Chef John’s perspective on this much maligned vegetable. Give it a try: you'll never be anti-Brussels sprouts again.
How did Chef John become a Brussels sprouts believer? It was the lighting-quick technique of cutting the Brussels sprouts into thin ribbons and flash sauteeing them on high heat in a little butter and olive oil, with just a splash of lemon juice, for about 1 or 2 minutes. "If you think you don't like Brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try and discover the cooking technique that makes Brussels sprouts irresistible," says Chef John
The key is to start with a cold skillet. Put the butter and olive oil into the cold skillet, turn the heat to high, and when your nose picks up the brown-butter smell and the butter starts turning golden brown, toss the ribbons of Brussels sprouts into the skillet. They'll come out crunchy and delicious.
How to trick a Brussels Sprouts hater into accidentally loving them: Spyce started slicing her Brussels sprouts into thin ribbons to fool her husband into thinking they were cabbage: "I started slicing them long ago to trick my husband into eating them! For the longest time he thought it was cabbage, lol! Anyway, this recipe is really outstanding, and the lemon juice brightens it up nicely."
Crispy, caramelized things tend to delight. That's just science. This recipe marries smoky, crispy bacon to sweet maple syrup. "Caramelized and crispy, these sprouts gain a nutty flavor from the roasting process," says asks stefychefy. "Who knew Brussels sprouts could ever taste this good!"
A tip on making clean-up easier: True, the caramelizing process adds delicious flavor, but it can also make a catastrophic mess of your cooking pan. Kyra Siebert has a suggestion: "I definitely line my baking sheet with foil because the syrup really gets sticky." She also recommends pre-cooking the bacon a bit to get some initial crispiness.
"This recipe has made Brussels sprouts lovers out of haters," says Boomdog02. "Brussels Sprouts are shredded like cabbage and quickly sauteed in bacon drippings with garlic and almonds. "
"This is the path to Brussels sprout love for those who haven't tried them or don't like them," says opentoedshoesan.
Cool trick for easy shredding: "Shaved them with my ceramic slicer and nothing could be easier," says shelteredrose. Latonya found an even easier method: "I bought a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts at Trader Joes
Another recipe that calls for shredded Brussels sprouts. This one goes for a little sweet and sour something, combining a touch of honey and dried cherries with vinegar and brown mustard. It's also a raw salad!
Allow the flavors to mingle: "Refrigerate for several hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend. If you're making this ahead of time, reserve slivered almonds and add right before serving," says Finchesarebeautiful.
"I found that the longer the salad sat, the better the Brussels sprouts absorbed the dressing and softened," says Roseanne. "Or else I suggest warming the Brussels sprouts so they soften and the dressing is absorbed better."
"A few tablespoons of duck and a very hot oven is all you need to turn some sleepy Brussels sprouts into something much more special," says Chef John.
Duck fat means flavor: If you've made Roasted Duck, be sure to save some fat for roasting Brussels sprouts. "Duck fat has less saturated fat than butter, and is higher in oleic acid, the stuff that makes olive oil so popular with the healthy eating gurus," says Chef John. "But make no mistake, this is still an animal fat, and should be used in moderation. The good news: 'in moderation' totally works!" No Duck fat? Try Bacon fat instead.