A perfectly roasted, slightly charred Brussels sprout is a very pleasing thing to eat, but one can become fatigued with a single prep method. Good thing there’s more than one way to eat these cruciferous delights. Here are a few of our favourites.
Shred Them For Salad
Raw Brussels are unpleasant in their whole, mini-cabbage form, but a little knife (or mandoline) work renders them into crunchy little shreds prefect for tossing with an acidic vinaigrette. Once you’ve sliced them super thin and dressed them to your liking, add a protein (like grilled chicken or garbanzo beans) and some sort of grain (like quinoa). If the salad base is just a little too sturdy for your liking, let it mellow in the fridge for a few days, or try tenderizing half the shreds by massaging them with salt first.
Cover Them In Cheese
If you wish to feel slightly more virtuous about shoving bite after bite of melted, broiled cheese into your body, consider replacing (or supplementing) your au gratin potatoes with Brussels. Start with by making a simple béchamel with two tablespoons of flour and butter each, whisking over medium heat until the mixture starts to bubble. Slowly incorporate 2 cups of whole milk, and cook over low heat until it’s nice and thick. Remove from heat, stir in a cup or so of shredded cheese (gouda, gruyere, or Dubliner all sound pretty good here) and season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
Blanche some quartered Brussels in super salty water, then drain and transfer them to a buttered casserole dish. Pour your cheesy sauce on top of your sprouts, top with more shredded cheese of your choice, and bake at 375℉ until everything is bubbling and browning, about half an hour.
Stir Fry The Leaves
Crispy little Brussels leaves add great texture and charred flavour to both rice and noodle dishes, but they make a pretty good stir try base on their own. Just cut the bottom ends (about 6mm) off of a pound of sprouts, pulling off leaves and cutting more off the bottom as needed. Fry over high heat in a mixture of butter and olive oil (one tablespoon of each) until the leaves are crispy and browned on the edges. Season with salt, pepper, and chilli flake, and serve as a side, or as a base for a hearty stir fry.
Make A Dip
Replace spinach in any creamy dip for a more substantial bite, making sure to blanch and drain the leaves first. Once they’re tender-crisp, assemble your dip just as you would a spinach and artichoke situation. There are a lot of recipes for this, but I’m partial to the Minimalist Baker’s version, which has shallots.