Brussels sprouts in the bowl

I think Brussels sprouts might be my favorite vegetable.

washing Brussels sprouts

It wasn’t love at first sight—these things seldom are—but you could say, I guess, it all started back in my days of visiting Nashville, amidst the excitement and unknowns of another budding relationship, when one Sunday night having dinner with friends, we poured leftover walnut-sage brown butter onto roasted Brussels sprouts and couldn’t believe how good it was.

Brussels sprouts on the cutting board

In truth, I shouldn’t have been at all surprised, having tasted the sweet caramelization of Brussels sprouts less than a year before, both at a restaurant and in my kitchen, but, as we sometimes do when we’re busy or distracted or just not tuned in, I’d managed to forgot all about it. The Nashville Brussels sprouts, thank goodness, made a more lasting impression, and my life’s seldom been without them since.

Brussels Sprouts

It’s funny how that works, you know? One day, Brussels sprouts—or say, that person you haven’t thought much of until now—does something impressive, and you think, Huh. I never noticed that before! And sometimes that’s enough to change your interactions ever after, to set on course a whole new path of life; other times, you forget and move on and have to be impressed all over again.

sauteed Brussels sprouts

For us, Brussels sprouts are that love that came softly, without our seeking it out or expecting it or planning for its entrance in our routines. Through gentle persistence, it’s become the vegetable often accompanying our Sunday night dinners, the favorite dinner on a weeknight, the thing we pick up from the produce department “as a treat.”

plate of roasted Brussels sprouts

Nowadays, we like our Brussels sprouts very simple—barely dressed, just sauteed or roasted enough to turn soft and golden, with crispy edges that crunch when you bite in. We cook them in coconut oil, with hefty dashes of salt and pepper, maybe with some red chili flakes thrown in—because, whereas before I thought little of this cabbage-like vegetable Rudy Huxtable pushed off her plate, today I celebrate it.




Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Red Chili Flakes
Serves 2-3

Special thanks to Ocean Mist Farms for sending us a case of fresh Brussels sprouts last week—now that was a delivery to be excited about!

Ingredients:
1 pound of Brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
A couple tablespoons coconut oil (or other high-heat oil)
Red Chili Flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
To saute: Heat coconut oil in skillet until fully melted and add Brussels sprouts. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper; toss a couple times. Continue cooking until sprouts are soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

To roast: Lay sprouts on baking sheet and top with dollops of coconut oil throughout. Season with chili flakes, salt and pepper. Place inside preheated 350-degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes, tossing once, until soft and golden.

Cooksnaps
Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. Emily

    The photos here are crazy good. It feels like I can reach into my screen and pluck a sprout or two out from the pile. I love it! I also love Brussels sprouts. But weirdly, people don’t eat them that much here in Brussels. It’s never a thing. The fields are always full of them, but dinner plates never seem to be. I did a little spin on my beloved Brussels sprouts with chili flakes here (http://thepetitfour.com/?p=2122), but I have yet to try them with walnut-sage brown butter. But then again, when can you go wrong when sage and brown butter team up?

  2. Katharina

    As a child I didnt like Brussels sprouts. My mom and grandma always made them for a typical german sunday dish. But when I got older I learned to like them! And now I love them. I always cooked them first and then sauteed them in butter with curry powder or alot of nutmeg. But I just love your way of serving them. I have to try the roasted option. It sounds delicious. And Butter and sage are the perfect combination for Brussels sprouts I think.

  3. Lan

    i didn’t try brussel sprouts until i was an adult, it’s not a vietnamese vegetable that made it to our dinner table growing up. i enjoy this vegetable a great deal and like you, very simply dressed with olive oil & salt/pepper for seasoning. i’ve made it with a liberal sprinkling of crumbled bacon & that was lovely too..

  4. Maxine

    Shanna!

    I love that you wrote about brussels sprouts! There is nothing that compares to fresh brussels sprouts. I grew 4 plants last year and am aiming for 12 this year. It’s the one vegetable I’m glad no one else in my family likes because then I don’t have to share! :)

  5. Kelley

    We would just about commit a felony for a free case of fresh Brussels sprouts!!! So, so glad you saw the light after that first iffy foray. :) Now I’ve got a craving …

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  7. Kim

    My favorite Brussels method: slice in half and put, cut-side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet that you’ve drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder and red chili flakes, and kind of swish them all around to make sure they’re all coated with seasoning and that everyone’s cut-bottoms are in oil. Bake in oven around 400 degrees, for oh, I don’t know, 10 minutes? Until they’re golden brown and maybe a little crispy.

    Oh hey, it’s pretty similar to your method :)

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