Ah, brussels sprouts -- a kid's worst nightmare. Brussels sprouts are an extremely nutritious vegetable but they are rather bitter in taste by themselves, so if you don't know how to prepare them properly, they can make for a rather unpleasant dining experience. But fear not! We've found a couple of ways to prepare to make the most of brussels sprouts so that you can get all their health benefits while maximizing flavor. Check out the recipes below!

Seared Brussel Sprouts

seared brussels sprouts with bacon in a pan

What You Need:

  • 12-14 brussels sprouts
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons of bacon bits or chopped pancetta (the saltiness in pancetta compliments the brussels sprouts very well).
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Make It:

  • Clean the brussels sprouts by running water over them and the taking off the dark green outer leaves. Then take a paring knife and cut the brussels sprouts in half.
  • Place a pan over medium heat and then coat the pan with butter. When the pan is hot, place the brussels sprouts in the pan with the inside-half facing down.
  • Give the sprouts a good sear for 3-4 minutes, then flip them all over. Add the garlic, shallots, and bacon to the pan and stir everything. Add salt and pepper to taste (if you do end up using pancetta, hold back on the salt as pancetta is naturally very salty). Let everything cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the white cooking wine to the pan to deglaze all the ingredients and stir everything in the pan for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and place the brussels sprouts on a plate, and enjoy!

Brussels Sprout Caesar Salad

a brussel sprout salad with a fork in it

What You Need:

  • 20-24 brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • ΒΌ cup of croutons
  • Caesar dressing
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Make It:

  • Rinse all the brussels sprouts in cold water and peel away the dirty, dark green leaves.
  • Using a paring knife, cut the stem the brussel sprout. With the stem removed, peel as many leaves off the brussel sprout as you can until you're left with the core. Place the leaves in one mixing bowl and the cores in another. Repeat this process with every brussel sprout.
  • Take each core and cut them up chiffonade style. These will add a nice crunch to your salad.
  • Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a pinch of salt for flavor.
  • Fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice cubes.
a bowl of iced water
  • What you're going to do is toss the brussels sprouts' leaves into the boiling water and boil them for 30 seconds, then immediately remove them from the boiling water with a slotted spoon or a strainer basket, and place them in the bowl with the iced water. This process is known as "blanching" and it helps reduce the bitterness of the leaves, adds some flavor and improves their texture by boiling them for a short time and immediately giving them a shock bath in iced water.
  • Strain the leaves from the iced water and let them sit for 20-30 minutes to come down from the freezing temperature.
  • In a mixing bowl, add your leaves and combine them with the cut-up cores, croutons, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and Caesar dressing. How much Caesar dressing you add depends on how wet you want the salad to be!
  • If you feel like adding some protein to your salad, try slicing up a cooked chicken breast.

What To Pair Your Brussel Sprouts With

brussels sprouts with walnuts quinoa and other spices

If you opt for the seared brussels sprouts, they are a wonderful appetizer to prepare you for the main dish. Follow up your brussels sprouts with a nice pasta dish or if the weather is nice, fire up the barbecue and cook up a nice rack of ribs! In fact, if the bars on your grill are close enough together, placing your brussels sprouts on the grill can give the greens a nice char, adding a nice smoky flavor to the usually bitter vegetable.

If you go with the brussels sprout Caesar salad, following up with a baked chicken breast and steamed vegetables is an easy and healthy option. If you just want to make a heartier salad for a full meal, cut up the chicken breast and toss it in along with some cherry tomatoes, shaved carrots and walnuts to give you a balanced meal full of flavor!

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