Brussels sprouts are the problem child of the vegetable aisle. You either love them or hate them. And it’s easy to see why they are so polarizing. If you don’t know how to cook them, they can turn out bitter and flavorless. If you grew up with boiled Brussels sprouts, then it’s time to give them another try. But we warn you, they might become addictive!
To make sure your sprouts taste delicious, you need to buy smart. Look out for bright green sprouts, without any brown spots or yellow leaves. Smaller sprouts are a good choice, because they’re less likely to become bitter when cooking. The bigger sprouts can become slightly bitter and taste more like cabbage.
You can roast just about any vegetable and it will turn out delicious. Brussels sprouts are no different. The sweet flavor intensifies and some of the leaves turn brown and crispy. Yum! To make roasted Brussels sprouts, halve them and remove the outer leaves. Toss with vegetable oil and seasoning and roast for 20 min at 200°C. Make sure to roast them cut side down, to create a surface for caramelization.
If there is one reason why Brussels sprouts are the world’s most hated vegetable, it’s because most of them have been overcooked. Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates, and although these compounds are good for us, they’re also responsible for the ‘rotten egg’ aroma associated with cruciferous vegetables. The longer you cook sprouts, the more of these compounds are released, so if you overcook them, they’re bound to taste bad!
Once you take your sprouts out of the oven, you can top them with a variety of seasonings and sauces. A basic but delicious combination is butter, Italian seasoning, and parmesan. Other spices that go well with Brussels sprouts are turmeric, Chinese 5 spice, smoked paprika, ground cumin, chili powder, and chili flakes.
Other flavor combinations that are a perfect match for Brussels sprouts:
The possibilities are basically endless. Add almonds, pecans, pine nuts, or pumpkin seeds as a crunchy element. For sweetness, you can add raisins, cranberries, or any chopped dried fruits.
We think it’s time to give Brussels sprouts a second chance!