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Squash Your Brussels Sprouts Doubt This Holiday Season

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Bacon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Bacon. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

’Tis the season for Brussels sprouts. They are highly adaptable — perfect to sautée, fry, roast, pickle, or thinly slice and eat raw in salads and side dishes.

Here are three recipes that show their range, all of them ideal for the upcoming holiday season.

Sautéed Scallops on a Bed of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Sautéed Scallops on a Bed of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

This is an ideal quick dinner or first course for the holiday season. The whole dish takes less than 30 minutes to put together and shows just how delicate Brussels sprouts can be. If you don’t have access to fresh scallops you could use shrimp or place a one-pound fish filet—salmon, cod, haddock, etc. — on top of the sautéed Brussels sprouts and roast for about 12 minutes in a hot 400-degree oven.

Serves 2 to 4.


  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound scallops, about 8, or 1 pound fish filet, see above
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound) Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, stemmed, and very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Lemon wedges


  1. On a plate mix the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge both sides of the scallop in the seasoned flour.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the scallops and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side until a rich golden brown. Set the scallops aside.
  3. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to low. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper and half the chives and scallions. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer 2 minutes. Place the scallops back into the skillet, gently nesting into the Brussels sprouts. Cook another 2 minutes and sprinkle with the remaining chives and scallions. Serve hot with the lemon wedges on the side.
  4. If using a fish filet, after adding the cream and simmering for 2 minutes, place the fish filet on top of the sprouts and roast in a 400-degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the type of fish and the thickness.

Brussels Sprouts Caesar Slaw

Brussels Sprouts Caesar Slaw. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Imagine a Caesar salad merged with coleslaw that uses Brussels sprouts instead of lettuce, topped with anchovies, lemon and shaved Parmesan cheese. This makes an ideal side dish, holiday salad, or light lunch served with warm crusty bread. Plan on tossing the sprouts with the dressing at least 15 minutes before serving. The dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead of time. You can also sprinkle the top of the salad with croutons or croutes. You could also add grated apple, very thinly sliced fennel or shaved carrots.

Serves 2 to 4.


The Caesar Dressing

  • 1 large or 2 medium or small egg yolks*
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 4 anchovy filets, plus 1 tablespoon anchovy oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

The Slaw

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, outlet leaves and stems removed, and then very thinly sliced
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 scallion, very finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shaved with a wide-mouthed peeler, or grated
  • 4 anchovies
  • 1 cup croutons or croutes**

*Because the egg yolks are raw, look for organic or fresh, locally raised eggs or pasteurized eggs

**To make croutes: thinly slice a baguette or crusty bread and brush both sides with olive oil. Broil lightly until just golden and flip over and repeat.


  1. To make the dressing, use a blender to whirl all the ingredients and taste for seasoning. Adjust as needed.
  2. In a bowl or serving plate toss the sliced sprouts with the salt and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then toss in the scallion and half the cheese shavings. Toss with a little more than half the dressing. Season to taste with pepper.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and top with the anchovies crisscrossed into 2 “X’s.” Sprinkle with croutons or croutes if using. Serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Candied Bacon

Whole Brussels sprouts are roasted with finely chopped bacon and then drizzled with maple syrup. The result is a dish of tender sprouts coated in a sweet bacon topping. The recipe couldn’t be simpler but this will win over all those who think they don’t like Brussels sprouts.

If making for vegetarians, skip the bacon.

Serves 4.


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and left whole
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 pieces bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Place sprouts in a roasting pan and toss with the oil and pepper. Roast on the middle shelf for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bacon and roast another 8 minutes. (If preparing for vegetarians, omit the bacon and add maple syrup after 18 minutes.) Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, stir in the maple syrup to coat everything and roast another 10 minutes or so, depending on the size of the sprouts, stirring occasionally. Roast until they are just tender when prodded with a small sharp knife and the bacon is crisp.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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