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Muscles from Brussels . . . sprouts that is . . .

Ahhhh yes! It's time for the much maligned vegetable to stand up and be counted, time for this most regal of brassicas to stand up and take a well deserved bow. Brussel Sprouts belong to a family of vegetables called brassicas; a family that includes cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. They have an abundance of fibre and vitamin C, and traces of folate and potassium.

Spring has sprung in New Zealand, the birds are a whistling, lambs will soon be a frolicking, love is in the air and I have been spring cleaning. After a hard day, a quick nutritious meal is the order of the day and I thought I would share with you a dish I knocked up this weekend, that put the spring back into my step and ready for the next onslaught.

Brussel sprouts are a vegetable shunned by many, yet loved by others. It would seem we either love them or hate them and I must admit for years I was among the latter. I believe many are put off by the hard bullets they were served when they were children by well meaning parents. Many people in my experience just do not know how to prepare and cook them.

How to prepare Brussel Sprouts

Brussel SproutsThey do not have to be just cooked whole and served with the Sunday roast, but if you do decide to follow these simple tips, that will allow you to serve deliciously soft, tender and fully cooked ones:

  1. Remove all the dead outer leaves

  2. Trim off any hard part of the stalk

  3. Cut a deep ‘X’ in the base all the way through to the middle

  4. Plunge into boiling, salted water

  5. Bring back to the boil and simmer until soft (pierce the thickest part with a pointed knife to test if they are soft and cooked all the way through)

  6. Strain and toss in a little melted butter with one of the following:

  • finely sliced garlic

  • grated fresh ginger

  • tarragon

  • carraway seeds

  • black mustard seeds

  • garam masala

  • chopped fresh, red chili

  • finely chopped onion and bacon bits

  • reduce the juice of tinned pineapple until virtually nothing is left, add some melted and toss through the sprouts

Sprouts are really quite versatile, they can be:

  • shredded raw and tossed into salads

  • shredded raw and served as a salad unto themselves, marinated in a great vinaigrette

  • cooked and pureed

  • shredded and lightly steamed

Or try them this way, ŕ la Tallyrand, I think you might be surprised and, like me, become a Brussel Sprout convert . . .

Ingredients for Brussel Sprouts

per serving

brussel sprouts



smoked belly bacon






garlic clove



fresh pineapple





extra virgin olive oil


How to make Brussel Sprouts Recipe

  • Trim the brussel sprouts, cut in half and remove the stalk by cutting a ‘V’ shape
  • Cut them into fine shreds (called chiffonade)
  • Slice the shallot finely
  • Cut the bacon into fine strips
  • Crush the garlic clove
  • Heat a little olive oil in a sauté pan and melt some butter into it
  • Lightly cook the garlic, shallot and bacon for 3 - 4 minutes until the shallot is softened and the flavours have been released
  • Add the chiffonade of brussel sprouts and toss or stir for 5 - 10 minutes until they have softened and cooked thoroughly
  • Toss through the pineapple and serve immediately

Chef's Tip for BrusselSprouts Recipe

Served with some noodles, a pulse, some lentil fritters or chick peas etc, this is a very nutritious dish (remove the bacon of course for a true Vegan meal)

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand