Become a Convert

November 19, 2008

Any article in a food magazine or post out in the blogosphere about brussels sprouts will start with some kind of encouragement. “You may think you don’t like brussels sprouts,” they will tell you, “But let me convince you to change your mind.”

I was totally one of those people. I like almost every single vegetable out there, but didn’t like those little cabbages. Because they aren’t really a “go to” vegetable for most people, I actually hadn’t really eaten them that many times. My mom never made them (probably because she knew we wouldn’t eat them), friends never made them, I certainly never made them. The one time I can recall eating them in recent memory was at a friend’s for Sunday dinner and I really hated the few bites I was able to choke down. They were whole and undercooked so chalky texture and foul flavor. I firmly put them in my dislike category.

Then, for some reason, last year I decided to make them for Thanksgiving. Maybe it was the article in Bon Appetit, maybe it was the addition of caramelized shallots, maybe it was the fact that the brussels sprouts themselves are thinly sliced instead of whole. I don’t know – but I’m glad I branched out. These are, really truly, delicious. And yes, they will convert brussels sprouts haters – they converted my husband and he really holds on to his food aversions. My brother Michael (one of those rare individuals who love brussels sprouts) points out that anything with a bunch of butter in it tastes good, but I beg to differ. I made these yesterday to go with Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie and dialed the amount of butter way down and then were still incredibly tasty. Trust me. They will be on our table next Thursday.

Brussels Sprout Hash with Caramelized Shallots
Adapted from
Bon Appetit Magazine
Serves 8

I made some changes here. I cut the amount of butter in half and upped the shallots. I also changed the method a bit. Be sure to use a big enough pan so that the sprouts get browned sufficiently. You can use a food processor to slice the sprouts – that is, if your baby didn’t abscond with the feed tube pusher.

3 tbsp. butter, divided
lb. shallots, thinly sliced
Coarse kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

4 tsp. sugar

1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed
Olive oil

1/2 cup water

Halve brussels sprouts lengthwise. Cut lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside.

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Saute until golden, about 10 minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 minutes. Scrape onto a plate and reserve. Wipe out skillet carefully with a paper towel.

Place skillet back over burner. Increase heat to medium-high. Add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom. Add sprouts; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until brown at the edges, about 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp. butter. Saute until the water evaporates and sprouts are tender, adding more water if necessary. Add shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Oh my gosh – This looks divine! I am right there with you…I only recently discovered that I love brussel sprouts too, especially when they get all brown and crispy. I laughed about your feed tube pusher because my kids also disappear with random kitchen equipment!

    Comment by Deanna S. — November 19, 2008 @ 10:22 pm

  2. add bacon or pancetta to this and you’ll eat them every day!

    Comment by We Are Never Full — November 20, 2008 @ 12:00 am

  3. ha ha ha. just got your comment on my blog. it’s funny b/c vegetarians will sometimes comment about how to make a meat meal into a veggie meal (explaining the substitutes) which i find helpful. maybe subconsciously that was what i was doing w/ my above comment? yes, there “life” beyond meat, but, in my world, food is my life and meat is a part of that. we make veggie meals at least once or twice a week but most of them don’t land on the blog. they’re not very inspired and i don’t think they deserve to be there b/c of that. but i’ll send veggies to your site to get some real good ideas.

    but thanks for making me think about the comment i left you. i think for a second i had a brain fart and forgot you’re a true veggie.

    amy @

    Comment by We Are Never Full — November 20, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  4. Yum! I am one of the few brussel sprouts lovers out there. I think that when cooked properly they have a delicious sweet flavor and a great texture. This hash sounds terrific– maybe I can get my husband to eat this (especially if bacon is added as We are Never Full suggests).

    Comment by Tiffany — November 20, 2008 @ 1:35 pm

  5. This sounds so good- I actually like brussel sprouts too! I would love to try this out!

    Comment by Emily Rose — November 20, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

  6. You are one of those people who actually loves cauliflower and I’m one of those people who actually loves brussels sprouts! This looks sooo good!

    Comment by Andrea — November 20, 2008 @ 5:25 pm

  7. Yeah brussel sprouts. I’ve always said I was the only person under 30 that liked brussel sprouts and figgy pudding. Now I’m over 30 and I still love them! Thanks Dana.

    Comment by Eco-Tique — November 24, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

  8. It only took me a year to make this recipe, but I can tell you that I will not wait nearly that long to make it again! Jeff and I LOVED it, and the 2 & 4 year olds ate half of their portions (a huge “win” considering their no-green-stuff eating policy of late). The thing I love about this blog is that it’s memorable. I remembered this post enough to search for it when I decided to prepare Brussel sprouts for my family, for the FIRST TIME. I cook with such variety that I can’t tell you the last time I made something for the “first time” and it will definitely not be the last time I use this recipe. Thanks Dana!

    Comment by Deb — February 25, 2010 @ 9:11 am

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