Foodie Friday: Brussels Sprouts


Hi. My name is Jen, and I am addicted to brussels sprouts.

This should come as no surprise; I get re-addicted every winter. But this year is different. This year, I’ve discovered a new recipe that is SO GOOD, I am now alternating between grocery stores so no one suspects the depths of my dependency.

(It’s bad. I’m thinking of wearing disguises.)

The recipe is called HASHED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH LEMON ZEST, and the result is a creamy bowlful of lemony, garlicky, tender shreds of this often-maligned little cabbage.

Skip the food processor. Slicing the brussels spouts by hand is a lovely, end-of-day meditation. I’ve used poppy seeds exclusively in my efforts, but I’d love to know if you try mustard or cumin seeds in yours! That the recipe “serves 8 – 12” is a misnomer — in my kitchen anyhow.



2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 to 3 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, or poppy seeds
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
Salt and pepper to taste

Place lemon juice in a large bowl. Cut bottoms off sprouts, and discard. Working in batches, use a food processor fitted with the slicing blade to cut sprouts into thin slices. (If cutting by hand, halve sprouts lengthwise, and thinly slice them crosswise. The slices toward the stem end should be thinner, to help pieces cook evenly.) As you work, transfer slices into bowl with lemon juice. When all sprouts are sliced, toss them in juice and use your fingers to separate leaves.

When ready to serve, heat oil and butter over high heat in a skillet large enough to hold all sprouts. When very hot, add sprouts, garlic and seeds, and cook, stirring often, until sprouts are wilted and lightly cooked, but still bright green and crisp, about 4 minutes. Some leaves may brown slightly.

Add wine and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Turn off heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and more lemon juice if desired. Stir in the lemon zest, reserving a little for top of dish. Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining zest and serve.

YIELD 8 to 12 servings


Recipe found on the New York Times website, as adapted from “The Union Square Cafe Cookbook,” by Michael Romano and Danny Meyer. Click here to watch the video.

16 thoughts on “Foodie Friday: Brussels Sprouts

  1. I’m with you Jen! Love Brussel Sprouts, pretty much anyway. And yes I’ve tried cumin seeds, onion seeds and mustard seeds – all work well for me 🙂 But I need to take a leaf out of your book and add a splash of white wine!


  2. I get this way with certain foods too. Right now it is chicken with cashews, snowpeas and red pepper. As a disguise you can also try a camouflage jacket, no one will see you!


  3. Thanks for this! I love Brussels sprouts. They are so misunderstood! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Currently, my favorite way to serve Brussels sprouts is oven-roasted with black pepper and olive oil. When they come out of the oven, they’re topped with sliced garlic browned in a little olive oil. The recipe is in Jillian Michaels’ “Making the Cut” book, so you know it’s healthy!


  4. Ha ha I can truly relate (and agree with) just about all of your perspectives. This one, though, we shall have to just agree to disagree. While I do agree that the tiny things do look very attractive I just cannot develop the liking for them, despite numerous attempts. In fact they are one of the very few things I have never taken a liking to. That said–you can have mine, ok 🙂
    Can we compromise on cabbage…or spinach …or turnip greens? 🙂


    1. Now, now. I might suggest you try this recipe. It might convert you. Count me in for cabbage, spinach, maybe even turnip greens. I figure it I can come to a liking for broccoli rabe, I can come to a linking for just about everything…except sushi. Bleh.


  5. I can’t imagine what these taste like. Lemony? Vinegary? (Now you know what I associate lemon juice with.) Do you pucker up and eat them?
    I like my cabbage (including b.s.) with butter and onion and melting away. This would be a real challenge!


    1. The taste is much more sublime than simply lemony or vinegary. It’s rich and layered with flavor – not so much lemon-juice lemon, but that softer flavor you get from the zest? The cooking process and butter give this dish a creamy texture, and the poppy seeds add another texture and taste. Seriously, if I tell you I’ve been eating this every other day for weeks, THAT’S how good they are. I just eat a giant bowlful, but I can see them serving up nicely next to chicken, paired with a favorite white wine.


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