I once heard a kid at a holiday dinner ask, what do Brussels sprouts taste like?
I guess the green color and smell weren’t overly appealing. And needless to say, she didn’t take a bite.
To many people, Brussels sprouts are disgusting, green leafy balls that give off an awful taste and odor.
Lots of people try to stay away from this vegetable at all costs.
But when they’re done right, they can be so, so tasty!
Brussels sprouts taste slightly earthy and sometimes a little bit bitter. Some people compare the flavor to a mix between cabbage and broccoli. And the sulfur-like smell can affect the taste if they’re overcooked.
What Do Brussels Sprouts Taste Like?
So, you want to know what Brussels sprouts taste like?
Maybe you’re reconsidering a green diet or just need something to add to your next holiday meal.
Well, the good news is that Brussels sprouts are making a comeback. Here’s why:
The taste of Brussels sprouts depends on the way you cook them. In some cases, they can be very bitter. But when they’re cooked properly, they have a sweet, nutty, smoky flavor that’s hard to resist.
They taste somewhat like cabbage, just a bit milder. And they have a nice crunchy exterior and a tender interior.
Brussels sprouts also vary a bit in taste depending on their size. Like other fruits and veggies, smaller ones have a better and sweeter flavor than more mature ones.
As for the vegetable’s nutritional value, sprouts are brimming with a ton. These guys are loaded with Vitamins A, C, and K, along with Potassium, Folate, and fiber.
All the more reason to add them to your daily diet!
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
There are several ways to prepare Brussels sprouts. No matter what method you choose, the key is to not overcook them.
Over-cooking Brussels sprouts gives them that foul taste and odor.
Yup, that was the big blunder our parents and grandparents made that gave this poor cruciferous such a bad reputation.
So, don’t make the same mistake they did, and cook your Brussels sprouts the right way.
Here are some options:
This method brings out the natural sugars and gives them plenty of crispy and caramelized goodness. Here’s how:
- Slice off the hardened stems at the bottom and pull off the tough outer leaves.
- Coat the sprouts in a mixture of olive oil, salt, and pepper and transfer them onto a baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Shake the pan every 5 minutes to ensure the sprouts brown evenly. You’ll know they’re done when the outer leaves turn dark brown.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
If roasting isn’t an option, you could also sauté Brussels sprouts. They will also caramelize with this method.
The key is to not overcrowd your pan because that will steam the sprouts, not brown them.
Here’s a great recipe for sautéed Brussels sprouts:
- Add one tablespoon of bacon fat and one tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add minced garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add chopped sprouts and chopped onions and stir to coat with the garlic.
- Sprinkle over a bit of brown sugar and salt and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring every now and then, until they turn bright green.
- Add some apple slices and let the mixture cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and add pecans, dried cherries, and bacon. Finally, drizzle over your favorite vinaigrette and serve.
The most important thing you need to know about Brussels sprouts is the cooking time.
Because no matter what seasonings and ingredients you add to the mix, if you cook them longer than they need, you’ll only end up with bitter sprouts.
So, be sure to cook them between 20 to 40 minutes, and not a minute longer.
Cook time will vary depending on the size of your Brussels sprouts, oven temperature, and how you personally prefer your veggies to be cooked.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts Taste Good
Brussels sprouts will taste even better if you season them well. And you can’t go wrong with the basics – olive oil, salt, and pepper.
A mixture of butter and lemon will work great as well!
- If you want a nice smoky flavor, mix in some bacon, pancetta, or crumbled Italian sausage.
- For sweeter Brussels sprouts, flavor them with honey, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, or fruit juice.
- Give your Brussels sprouts a savory and nutty flair by topping them with Parmesan cheese.
Did you know that you can eat Brussels sprouts raw, too? They make a good salad ingredient, as long as you massage them with olive oil first.
And as for what to eat with Brussels sprouts? You can’t go wrong with roasted chicken!
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