Braised Brussels Sprouts

9 Oct

sprouts!If you dont like brussels sprouts, try this recipe. It is so phenomenally good, I dare anyone to taste it and not like it. Brussels sprouts are a much maligned vegetable, but thats mainly because they tend to be over or under cooked. They can be pungent, but treating them with respect, and cooking them in a time tested French manner (braising in cream – or coconut cream for vegans) brings out their nutty tenderness to perfection.

Tonight was a big meal night – polenta with a tomato spinach sauce, roasted kale, and brussels sprouts. My sister had purchased a branch of brussels sprouts. How gorgeous is that? Cooking in this way – literally picking the sprouts off the plant they had grown on – is so satisfying. Preparing brussels sprouts is easy. Trim the bottoms well, and take off two or three leaves – you want what looks like a tightly packed miniature lettuce.

These sprouts are wonderful as a side dish, or could even be given centre stage (Jules said she could just eat the sprouts and be happy). If I was serving the sprouts as a main course, I might gratinee them in the oven for a few minutes. Any which way, theyre surprisingly good. This preparation would also be great pureed as a soup.

Brussels sprouts are so good for you – they are anti-inflamatory, anti-oxidant, and detoxing. There are many studies which link regular consumption of brussels sprouts with a lower incidence of cancer. Related to kale, broccoli and cabbage, this tiny superfood is wonderfully healthy for you, and cooked well, sensationally tasty.

This recipe serves 6 – 8 people as a side dish, fewer as a main

  • About 2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup cream (or coconut milk cream for vegans)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • Fresh (if you have it) grated nutmeg (or if you are using the coconut milk, you could also use garam masala for a slightly spicier mix) – just a pinch
  • Black pepper

The most time consuming part of this dish is preparing the brussels sprouts. You need to check out each one, trim the ends and trim the loose leaves. Check to make sure that the leaves are tight. Once youre happy with a sprout, toss it into a large bowl of salted water. Keep prepping all your sprouts until you are done. You should have 4 – 6 cups worth.

Slice the sprouts in half and transfer to a large saucepan, which has a lid. Pour over the cream (or coconut milk cream) and sprinkle with salt. I usually use only about 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and then taste and adjust when I am done. I prefer to let the sweetness of the brussels sprouts shine through.

Bring the cream and sprouts to the boil over high heat. As soon as it all starts to bubble and roil, cover with lid, and lower heat to medium low. Braise the sprouts, covered, for about 12 – 15 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the root end of the sprout goes through softly. I usually check about half way through the cooking time, adjust the heat if I think its needed, and give the sprouts a good mix to make sure they all get heat time.

Take off heat, and grate or sprinkle over nutmeg and lashings of black pepper. Combine, taste and adjust. Add more salt if needed.

YummmmmThe sprouts will have soaked up most of the cream, and become voluptuously plump, bright green and delightful. They will shine, and beckon hungry appetites.

The sprouts can be prepared ahead of time and reheated gently.

Get ready to accept applause, and garner converts!


2 Responses to “Braised Brussels Sprouts”


  1. Tweets that mention Braised Brussels Sprouts « delectable -- - October 9, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pia Zain, Delectable Blog. Delectable Blog said: Braised Brussels Sprouts #vegetarian #vegan #cooking #recipe #recipes #yum […]

  2. Thoughts on Cooking + Celebrating « delectable - November 27, 2010

    […] Braised brussels sprouts – from my earlier recipe – I used 5 cups of brussels sprouts, halved, with 1/2 cup of cream and a tablespoon of maple syrup. The sweetness of the maple syrup elevated the rich creamy nuttiness of the brussels sprouts beautifully! […]

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