Market Fresh Finds: Prep key to bring out best in Brussels sprouts

It’s not easy being a Brussels sprout. A 2008 survey revealed that they are the…

Market Fresh Finds: Prep key to bring out best in Brussels sprouts

It’s not easy being a Brussels sprout. A 2008 survey revealed that they are the most-hated vegetable in America. Many of us have memories of stinky smells associated with mushy, boiled sprouts. But I’m here to tell you that properly cooked Brussels sprouts will quickly make you forget that childhood trauma.

Sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to your diet, all for a measly 28 calories per cup.

These hearty winter vegetables are usually in season from fall through late winter. Look for bright green heads that are firm, compact and heavy for their size. The leaves should be tightly packed. Avoid Brussels sprouts with yellowing leaves, a sign of age, or black spots. Smaller Brussels sprouts are usually sweeter and more tender than larger ones.

Brussels sprouts are sometimes available on the stalk, especially at farmers markets, and they will last longer on the stalk when kept in the refrigerator. Store your unwashed sprouts in a plastic bag or uncovered container in the fridge. When you are ready to use them, rinse in cold water and pat dry.

I love Chef Scotty’s Braised Brussels Sprouts recipe, and I also like to roast them. I cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, until browned on the cut side. Another fun way to prepare them is to skewer them, brush with olive oil and balsamic glaze, season to taste and grill.

They are also good shredded raw in a salad or tossed into hot pasta with a creamy sauce. My next Brussels sprouts adventure will be to drizzle them with a little oil and cook them in the air fryer.

Brussels sprouts freeze beautifully so you can enjoy them throughout the year. Trim the heads, wash and blanch for 3 minutes, then plunge them into ice water. Blot dry and freeze on a tray. Store in freezer bag or vacuum seal for best results.

So c’mon, give Brussels sprouts another chance. You will be glad you did.

Judi Seifert is a Clark County WSU Extension Master Food Preserver. For additional recipes, food preservation and food safety information visit Have questions? Call MFP Helpline at 564-397-5366.

Braised Brussels Sprouts

Source: Chef Scotty. Yield: 4 servings

1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Add Brussels sprouts, cut side down, to a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and sprinkle shallots over the top. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the sprouts start to caramelize. Add vegetable stock and cover. Simmer 3-5 minutes until tender. Remove lid and boil off remaining stock. Add vinegar, bring to a boil and reduce until sauce thickens. Serve hot.