Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables we've all heard about but had no idea what they taste like. They're much better than their reputation would lead you to believe. Have you wondered if the Brussels sprouts taste good in the picture below? They're good! I swear!
Let me take a moment to paint a picture of what brussels sprouts taste like. They are a little earthy flavor, but not in the wrong way. Similar in flavor and texture to broccoli, but have a stronger taste. If you want to know what brussels sprouts taste like, some ways to cook them, and read on! I'll tell you everything you need to know about these small cabbages and some of the best ways to enjoy them.
Brussels Sprout Basics
Brussel sprouts (brassica oleracea), are also known in some parts of the world, Brussel sprouts have been cultivated since the 16th century. They are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium.
They are a cruciferous vegetable and a member of the cabbage family–these little cabbages are related to broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and kohlrabi. Often mistaken for mini cabbages, they are originally from Belgium.
They're grown from a small, round head surrounded by leaves and produce tiny buds resembling tiny cabbages.
Eating Brussels Sprouts
As a member of the cruciferous family, they share similar characteristics with other members of this family:
- a strong bitter taste
- a texture with a nice crunchy exterior that's tender at the same time
- an aroma that can be somewhat musky.
Brussels sprouts taste like green cabbage or broccoli, with an earthy flavor that is slightly bitter when raw but sweeter when cooked. The flavor of Brussels sprouts varies depending on how they're prepared — raw, roasted, or boiled — but they generally have a nutty flavor and earthy taste that can be described as both bitter and sweet simultaneously. The texture is also identical: firm and a crunchy texture on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside.
The entire plant is edible (including leaves and stem), but only the buds are eaten. The buds are small and round, about one inch long, with green leaves attached around them at the bottom of their stems.
Yes! When cooked, Raw Brussels sprouts become sweeter and milder when cooked. They go from being bitter tasting to mellow and nutty. This makes them a great addition to many recipes that call for other cabbage or leafy greens, as well as potatoes or other root vegetables such as beets or turnips (especially when roasted).
Cooking with Brussels Sprouts
When it comes to cooking fresh brussels sprouts, most people would agree that only a few approaches work well ― microwaving, roasting, and sautéing. There are so many more ways you can make brussels sprouts, though!
- Boiling is a simple preparation that will soften them and make them more tender than roasting, but it will also leach out some of their natural flavors and leave behind an overly watery consistency.
- Roasting brings more sweetness to the taste, which I prefer eating alone or pairing with other ingredients in dishes like salads. I invite you to roast these in some good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some parmesan cheese. You’ll thank me, I hope.
These tiny green cabbages have a bitter flavor that works well with some salty ingredients, such as meats and cheeses. You can also try adding sweet ingredients like maple syrup or honey to balance the bitterness of brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts can be eaten when raw or cooked. They are most commonly roasted or boiled until soft and tender. You can also find them pickled (in jars), served in salads, on pizza, or mixed with other vegetables such as carrots and potatoes in casseroles and stews.
Brussels sprouts are often prepared by boiling or steaming them until they are tender yet firm enough to retain their shape. They can also be sautéed or roasted in oil to caramelize the edges and make them crispy on the outside while maintaining their soft texture on the inside.
Here are some other ways to use them:
- Salads: Brussels sprouts are a great addition to any salad because they add texture and flavor without overpowering other ingredients.
- Soups - Like most vegetables, brussels sprouts work well in soup recipes.
- As an alternative to potatoes - Brussels sprouts make a great substitute for potatoes in mashed dishes like potato casserole or shepherd's pie because they have more nutrients than potatoes and provide bulk without taking away from the flavor profile of your dish.
- Stir-fries: Brussels sprouts stand up to a stir-fry without getting mushy.
- Fermenting: Lacto-fermenting extends the shelf life of this hearty vegetable, but also adds a tangy layer of flavor.
Working with Brussels Sprouts
While most people think of them as being served in small portions as a side dish Thanksgiving dinner alongside turkey and mashed potatoes, there's no reason you can't enjoy them year-round! Fresh Brussel sprouts are easy to find in most conventional grocery stores, although they are most plentiful when harvested locally during fall and winter. They are grown in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, and Asia.
When selecting brussels sprouts, look for firm heads without any signs of yellowing or wilting. The leaves should be tightly closed around the head but not so tight that they crack when bent gently between your fingers (scratch marks on the outside of the leaves indicate freshness).
Place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 5 days before cooking; cook within 2 days after refrigeration.
To prepare Brussels sprouts for cooking, first, remove any outer leaves that may be attached to the buds; then cut off any discolored parts from around their stems; rinse well under cold running water; drain well; core if desired; cut into halves or quarters.
You can substitute broccoli for Brussels sprouts when cooking. If you want to replace them in salads, try shredded cabbage instead. You can use cauliflower as a substitute for Brussels sprouts if you don't like them or want to try something new. Both cauliflower and Brussels sprouts belong to the same plant family, so they have similar flavors and textures when cooked.
What flavors go well with brussels sprouts?
Brussels Sprouts pair well with a variety of different ingredients. Here are some examples:
- Butter: The nutty flavor of butter complements the earthy flavor of the sprouts. Add a little butter to your pan before the sprouts, or saute them in butter after cooking them.
- Cream – Cream enhances the already creamy texture of brussels sprouts. Try serving them with cream sauce or adding cream to your saute pan when cooking them for an extra rich dish!
- Cheese: All types of cheese go well with Brussels Sprouts because they complement their nutty flavor and add another layer of depth to the dish! Try pecorino cheese (Italian sheep's milk cheese), feta cheese, or even blue cheese crumbles sprinkled on top of your cooked sprouts!
Brussels sprouts are so good, and they don't have to be boring. Here's a simple recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts that will bring out their natural sweetness.
- 1 ½ Pound Brussel sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- .Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Slice off the bottom end of each sprout and remove loose outer leaves.
- Place sprouts in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Toss until evenly coated, then add them to a baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.
- Roast for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside.
- Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with additional salt if desired.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 97Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 89mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g