brussels sprouts with pine nut gremolata

Are Brussels sprouts the new kale? I’ve been seeing them in markets and on menus all over the place – shaved raw into salads and roasted to a smoky-edged char in wood-fired ovens.

I didn’t know how much I could love Brussels sprouts, but that’s because when I was growing up my mom didn’t cook them – I don’t remember intriguing miniature cabbages appearing anywhere on the table when I was a kid. Were they not farmed on a large scale back then or were they just not a part of my family’s food tradition? I have a feeling they were the kind of vegetable you bought frozen in the 70’s, which might explain why I never laid eyes on a fresh Brussels sprout until I was an adult.

Even a just few years ago, those fresh-picked stalks with the sprouts still attached were kind of a novelty in produce departments, but now I see them everywhere.  It also never occurred to me that they could be so easily – and quickly – cooked in the microwave, with really delicious results. [Read more…]

Parmesan-Crusted Brussels Sprouts


This is a great time of year if you are a fan of Brussels sprouts – my hand is raised! – their season is brief and they taste so sweet and delicious when they’re super-fresh.

My local grocery store sells Brussels sprouts on the stalk every year around Thanksgiving, and I’ve grown to prefer buying them this way. Since you can pluck them off right before you want to cook them, they couldn’t be any fresher than if they’d grown in your own backyard garden.

I’ve always been intrigued by the unusual beauty of Brussels sprouts;  I love their miniature cabbage-like form and their distinctive taste, a combination of cauliflower and broccoli. And like cauliflower and broccoli – their siblings in the Brassica family – they take well to roasting and tossing with good Parmesan cheese – one of my favorite methods to use on any sturdy vegetable.

In addition to this rustic Italian-style recipe, I’ve recently given them the Julia Child treatment on my other blog, Dinner with Julia, where I prepared a recipe for Brussels Sprouts Braised in Butter and Cream from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  Even if you are a confirmed Brussels sprouts avoider, you might change your mind after a taste of these buttery nuggets.

Brussels Sprouts on the stalk

Brussels Sprouts on the stalk

Parmesan-Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Serving Size: 4 side-dish servings


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • Fine sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


  1. Trim the Brussels sprouts of any yellowing leaves. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil; add 2 teaspoons salt and the Brussels sprouts.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes. Drain and toss in a large bowl with enough olive oil to coat the cheese.
  3. Arrange them on a shallow pan and place under a hot broiler about 4 inches below heat source until golden, 1 or 2 minutes.
  4. Serve hot.