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In Season: Brussels Sprouts

I didn't grow up eating Brussels sprouts, and due to the vegetable's notorious reputation, I didn't think I was missing out on much. When I had my first bite of the vegetable a few years ago, I found that it wasn't bitter; rather, it was rich, sweet, and tender. I've been a devotee of the nutritious Brussels sprout ever since.

While Brussels sprouts are often available yearround, they're in their prime now: Peak season is from September to February. To find out what to look for,


  • Choose firm, round, and heavy sprouts with leaves held tightly together.
  • Smaller heads have the sweetest taste.
  • Avoid overcooking Brussels sprouts at any cost; they'll taste bitter.
  • Aim to select heads of similar size, so they'll cook evenly.

Some preparation tips:

  • Halve sprouts and sauté them in a pan with olive oil and chopped bacon until brown crust develops. Then simmer until tender in chicken stock.
  • Shred sprouts by hand or in a food processor, sauté until crisp and tender, and drizzle with lemon juice before serving.
  • Boil whole Brussels sprouts until tender (do not overcook). Plunge in cold water bath, then toss with butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Toss whole with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and bake until crisp on the outside and cooked on the inside.
  • Slice and eat raw with olive oil, lemon juice, toasted almond slivers, and pecorino.

What tips do you have for preparing Brussels sprouts? Do you have a favorite method of cooking them?

Join The Conversation
DCStar DCStar 8 years
NEVER BOIL BRUSSEL SPROUTS! That is how they get yucky. Instead, Roast them. Here's what I do. Preheat oven to 400. Wash brussel sprouts, cut off stem, and halve lengthwise. Thinly slice several shallots. Toss sprouts and shallots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring several times. The brussel sprouts will soften and become delicious, with some of the outer leaves browning and caramelizing. This is my favorite preparation!
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
I love them roasted. Theyre like candy!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
stoopeed stoopeed 8 years
I recently tried them for the first time and loved them! They are also surprisingly filling. I roasted them with some olive oil and topped them with some cajun seasoning. Yummy! Sweet and tender on the inside, a crispy browned outside topped off with some spice.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i've never actually had them, i guess for the same reason that you get scared when you a child but i think that learning more about them will make me give them a try at least. i'm usually not one to shy away from veggies these days. thanks for giving us a bit more information on the best time to find them and which are the best tasting.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 8 years
YUM! My oldest nephew is a 'organic gentlemen farmer' in his mom's backyard. And a few years back he started growing brussel sprout stalks. We were all shocked at how they grew - wow little buds and a tall stalk. Neato! And while we all stood around talking about the brussel sprouts and how my nephew grew them how to harvest them etc, our family dog Nike walked right up to the stalk and bit off a sprout. She plopped down on the ground and munched away. Finished that one got up again and gingerly bit off another. She ate probably 10 raw brussel sprouts. By the end of the week she had removed every sprout from the stalk. We thought it was hilarious until she was lying by the fireplace farting up a horrible storm. Oh the gas! But now my nephew continues growing the sprouts and now he's put a fence around the plants to keep Nike away. But she wont have it, she wants her sprouts so she pulls that fence down and gets her veggies. Now it's a fight between man-boy and dog over who gets to eat the delicious brussel sprouts. And aside from eating them raw, she does enjoy when we roast them with olive oil or a few pieces of cut up rendered bacon. Oh you've never seen such begging and fighting for veggies. Now even the cats want in on the brussel sprout crop.
blueidblonde blueidblonde 8 years
My husband is a professional chef. I love his brussel sprouts with balsamic, walnuts and ricotta salata - delish!!!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I love roasted brussel sprouts, too. Last night, I was craving them.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
I love brussels!!!
emalove emalove 8 years
I actually only have tried brussel sprouts once when I was a kid...not even sure if I liked them or not. I think I need to give them another shot!
kmckay kmckay 8 years
i like to roast them with other veggies (squashes, parsnips, etc) in a bit of olive oil... then coat them with brown sugar/maple syrup/butter mixture with about 10 minutes left of roasting time. MMMMM heavenly
otaku otaku 8 years
YUM! i love them!
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
I LOVE THEM!!! :love: and omg those brussell sprout stalks are one of my dogs favorite chew toys. :true: he carries it around in his mouth and just spits out the green stuff as he goes, it is so funny bc he is a yorkie. :ROTFL:
Marseeah Marseeah 8 years
My mother hated these, and so it's one of the few foods I think I've never actually tried. I'm going to have to make some for my husband - I remember salivating over Ina Garten's roasted B.S.'s in a thanksgiving episode a few years ago, but never doing anything about it.
Brooke_72 Brooke_72 8 years
Best Brussel Sprouts (from Jennifer McCann. The name says it all: serves 4 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, and cut in half 2 TB olive oil (or 1 TB olive oil and 1 TB margarine) salt to taste ¾ cup vegetable stock or water 2 TB sugar 2 TB apple cider vinegar freshly ground black pepper, to taste Heat the oil or oil and margarine in a sauté pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are turning golden, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add ½ cup of the stock or water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered with a lid left slightly ajar, until the Brussels sprouts are almost completely tender and the stock or water has been cooked away, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the last ¼ cup of stock or water, the sugar, and the apple cider vinegar. Cook at a lively simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Rancher'sGirl Rancher'sGirl 8 years
I probably never tasted them properly prepared, but given my druthers, they are not going on my plate, in season or out. LOL ;)
Brooke_72 Brooke_72 8 years
Ooooh that reminds me how much I love roasted brussel sprouts. Thanks for the idea Yum, I'll make some tonight.
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