I've always thought it an unfortunate tragedy that brussels sprouts somehow became the vegetable everyone loves to hate. I don't have any accurate study to cite, but I'd bet confidently that a survey of a few classrooms of elementary students across the country would reveal a majority stating brussels sprouts as their most hated food. And sadly, many of those kids never change their mind as they grow up. They continue thinking they hate brussels sprouts, but really I think this is only because they've never had brussels sprouts done right. All boiled vegetables are gross, no? Once you've tasted a salty, pan-fried brussels sprout with bacon, can you really ever go back? I'm sure there are some true brussels sprout haters out there who have actually given them a fair shot. But still, I'd even encourage them to reconsider. And for that reason I'm providing my most beloved brussels sprout recipes below. The momofuku recipe below will change your life. And the others will come close.
And one more thing. Brussels sprouts inarguably have the best name of all vegetables. Named after a city in Belgium even though they weren't even first cultivated there? Awesome.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts (momofuku) I make these without the puffed rice and they're still amazing. Make sure you don't put too much sauce on before serving or the sprouts will get soggy. Serve additional sauce on the side for dipping.
Pasta with Hashed Brussels Sprouts and Pine Nuts (Orangette) Silly as it sounds now, this recipe opened my mind to the fact you don't have to serve brussels sprouts whole or halved. They can be shaved. Or divided out into leaves! Crazy. It's also wonderful to recognize the sprouts are fully capable of being elevated to main dish status.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bread Crumbs (Saveur) These have been a real hit at Thanksgiving. The bread crumbs definitely add a heartiness that seems somewhat indulgent.
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts (101 Cookbooks) A simple and delicious preparation. Olive oil, salt, and any cheese you feel like. Can't go wrong with this one.