Brussel Sprouts: From Loathed to Loved

The ugly duckling of the vegetable world has become a swan.

Brussels sprouts were the bane of many childhoods, including my own. After I’d cleaned my plate as we children of Depression-era parents were exhorted to do, there they would sit: four congealing orbs of olive drab, over-cooked and cabbagey smelling. I was left by myself at the table to finish eating them, which I finally did by swallowing them whole as if they were giant vitamin capsules.

Now they are on chic menus everywhere; I order them all the time and eat them with relish (the emotion, not the condiment).

So the question is: Have I changed or have Brussels sprouts changed? Without getting all science-y about it, I would say neither. I think cooks’ understanding of Brussels sprouts has changed. Americans used to take a fairly British approach to  green vegetables—cook’em to death and puddle them in butter. But we’ve learned a lot from other cuisines and Brussels sprouts have benefited.


Zest, (Influenced by: Indian), Brussels sprouts with slivered almonds, spicy masala almond sauce, $8.00

Caffe Niche(Influenced by: Classic), Shaved Brussels sprouts seared in butter and a little bit crispy, $6.00

Eva (Influenced by: Mediterranean), Shaved Brussels sprouts seared in butter and a little bit crispy, $6.00

Tin Angel(Influenced by: Spanish), Brussels sprouts grilled with purple cabbage and sauteed in white wine, topped with a Spanish sherry and Shepherd’s Farm goat cheese, served with toasted baguette, $6.50

Cheddaburger, (Influenced by: American), Fried Brussels sprouts  with cheddar cheese  and BBQ sauce, $8.00

Mary Brown Malouf

Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf
Mary Brown Malouf is the late Executive Editor of Salt Lake magazine and Utah's expert on local food and dining. She still does not, however, know how to make a decent cup of coffee.

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