A PR Campaign for Brussels Sprouts

  • By Jess Dang
  • February 6, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Recipes | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang
As part of our Ingredient Spotlight series, we bring you our second entry, featuring 3 simple ways to make brussels sprouts. The first is our version of a brussel sprout “hash” and is a great starter recipe if you’re still feeling a bit apprehensive. The other two are classic cooking formulas – a blanch and saute and a roast – that will provide you with great side dishes to accompany just about any protein.


  • If you’re able to purchase your brussels sprouts loose (i.e., not already pre-packaged in a bag), pick small, dense ones. Pinch them with your hand; if they feel squishy, keep on digging
  • Try picking sprouts that are about the same size, as they will cook evenly
  • If there is still a lot of the stem left, trim it off, as they have a different texture than the leafy heads

To Prep

  • Peel off outer leaves
  • Give brussels sprouts a good wash
  • Slice them in half

Brussels Sprouts as a Hash

Although this can be made as a side dish, we much prefer it for breakfast. Can you say bacon, eggs, and brussels sprouts? Yes, please.

Ingredients (Breakfast for 1):

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 to 2 bacon strips, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (optional – vegetarians can substitute a soyrizo)
  • 6 brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (shown below)
  • A couple of nuts, chopped (pecans and pistachios are great in this dish, but anything you like can be used)
  • 1 to 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Optional flavor additions: mustard, red wine vinegar, hot sauce
How to slice brussels sprouts | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

How to:

  1. Heat a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and then bacon.
  2. Cook bacon for about 3 to 4 minutes until the edges start to crisp
  3. Add brussels sprouts and saute for about another 2 to 3 minutes. Since the sprouts have been sliced so thinly, they will cook quite quickly
  4. Add your flavors and nuts (if you’re using them) and toss through
  5. Spoon your hash onto a serving plate, and return the pan over medium-high heat
  6. Add remaining tsp of oil and crack your egg(s) into pan. If you’re indulging and want to fry your eggs with some butter, you’re welcome to use a combination of butter / oil (hey, if you’re having brussel sprouts for breakfast, you can indulge and no one will criticize!)
  7. Once your egg is fried, slide it over your hash and sprinkle with desired amount of salt and pepper
  8. At this point, I like to break the yolk, and use it as a sauce for my brussels sprout breakfast hash
Brussels Sprouts Hash with Fried Egg | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Brussels Sprouts, oven roasted

Roasting vegetables is pretty low maintenance. It doesn’t require a lot of pots and pans but does take a bit longer than blanching and sauteing them, which we describe below. This is definitely the way to go if you have a bit more time for meal making though, as roasting them crisps ups the outer leaves making these sprouts even more delicious.

Ingredients (Side dish for 6 to 8):

  • 1 lb. of brussels sprouts
  • 3 tbs of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Optional flavor additions: an onion – sliced into 1/4 inch pieces, brown sugar, paprika, thyme, lemon zest, oregano

How to:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper
  3. Prep brussels sprouts as described above and spread out evenly on a baking sheet (you can put it into a bowl first and then mix with ingredients in step 4 if you don’t mind washing 1 extra bowl)
  4. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and optional flavor additions (some great combinations: thyme + lemon zest, brown sugar + onions, paprika + oregano)
  5. Now place baking sheet of brussels sprouts in oven and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes
  6. Check 2 or 3 times during the cooking period, shaking the pan each time; more salt can also be added throughout the roasting period
  7. Towards the end of cooking, check to see if brussel sprouts are ready by just taking a bite. They should still have a bit of a bite (no mush!)

Brussels Sprouts, blanched and sauted

For those who have not had a chance to read about one of our favorite cooking formulas the blanch and saute, check out that post here. This method is great for quick weeknight preparation of this hearty vegetable, which can otherwise take a long time to roast. We’re a big fan of the sweet / salty combo from the maple syrup and bacon.

Ingredients (Side dish for 6 to 8):

  • 1 lb. of brussels sprouts
  • 1 tsp of oil
  • 4 strips of bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tbs of maple syrup
  • Salt

How to:

  1. Prep brussels sprouts as described above
  2. Fill a medium pot (3 to 4 quart) with about 6 cups of water. Heat over high heat until water starts to boil
  3. While waiting for water to boil, get a large bowl of cold, cold water ready that again will comfortably fit the vegetables you’re preparing. You are more than welcome to add a few ice cubes or an ice pack to make the water ultra-cold, though it’s not necessary. Set that bowl of cold water next to your pot of boiling water and put a large mesh strainer in the bowl so that you can easily just lift the strainer up and all the water drains but the vegetables stay inside
  4. When water reaches boiling point, generously salt the water, and add brussels sprouts
  5. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. The brussels sprouts are ready when a fork can pierce through the sprouts but it still requires a bit of force
  6. Use a stainless strainer to fish out your brussel sprouts and transfer them into the bowl of cold water
  7. Let it sit for a minute, and then pull the strainer full of sprouts out of the cold water. Pour out the water and place the strainer back in the bowl so that the rest of the water can drain
  8. While the vegetables are draining, heat up a large pan (saute or frying) over medium-high heat
  9. Add oil and then bacon
  10. Cook bacon until the edges start to crisp and then add brussels sprouts
  11. Add desired amount of maple syrup and toss through in pan
  12. Season with salt and serve nice and hot

Homework: Help support our PR campaign by spreading the brussels sprout love. Make brussels sprouts one of the above ways and post a photo on our Facebook page.


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