Without a doubt one of the best Brussels sprouts recipes you’ll make; a simple, highly flavorful way to enjoy them! The sprouts are both savory and sweet, highly aromatic, and provides a unique mouth experience for the holidays or easy weeknight side.
I never had brussels sprouts as a kid. It was not a food in the rotation of items cooked by my grandparents. I was keenly aware of them though given their negative reputation in pop culture. I remember watching a “Leave It To Beaver” episode with my grandfather in which a young Beaver Clever refused to eat sprouts for dinner. But that was then and what is now is that in recent years, many chefs have worked to change perceptions of Brussel sprouts by developing clever recipes for their restaurants. Though these are some of the best Brussels sprouts I’ve ever had, invariably most of these recipes are flavored with butter or bacon which are tasty, welcome additions to any dish let alone sprouts. I’m of the mindset that if you don’t like brussels sprouts, it’s because you haven’t had it cooked the right way. And it’s possible to cook great tasting sprouts and enjoy the many health benefits.
For this purple brussels sprouts recipe, I wanted the rich flavor produced in restaurants but wanted to create a recipe that was a bit more for everyday consumption, especially for a busy weeknight. Translation – a healthier profile and very little prep and cooking. So I left out butter, bacon, and sugar but ramped up the flavor profile. The key lies in layering flavors with different simple ingredients. I started with a spice mix consisting of kosher salt, pepper, fennel, and coriander. Salt and pepper are well-known spice flavors vs. the less common but familiar coriander and fennel. Coriander in ground form has an earthy, lemony flavor that easily works with other flavors whereas fennel is highly aromatic and provides a fragrant sweetness. I used whole seeds that I heated before grounding to add a more intense flavor. The second layer of flavor comes from the browning process. I like to quickly sear the sprouts before roasting in order to get that caramelization flavor. I then add the third layer which is the intensely flavored balsamic glaze. Finally the roasting of the grapes brings out their natural sweetness and really concentrates it such that there is no need to add sugar, honey, or any other sweetener you see chefs using. The grapes also provide a great eating experience assuming you roast them whole vs. halving. Biting into them releases an explosion of delectable wine-like juice.
How do purple brussels sprouts differ from green ones?
Purple brussels sprouts are a cross between traditional green sprouts and purple cabbage. These beauties come in shades of purple from dark purple to violet, mixed in with some bright green. Purple brussels sprouts tend to have more compact, rounded leaves and do not grow in a uniformed fashion like their green counterparts. Flavorwise purple brussels sprouts offer a slightly nutty and much sweeter flavor than their green counterpart.
What are the health benefits of brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts provide plenty of antioxidants, help fight both cancer and heart disease, and restores healthy digestion. They also have a surprisingly high amount of protein for a vegetable. Like their green relatives purple sprouts are a very good source of Fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, K, and B6; also the purple pigment provides added antioxidants.
Cooking Tips for making the best Brussel Sprouts
- I prefer my brussels sprouts to have crispy edges, so I halve the sprouts and sear/brown them on the cut side before roasting.
- Keep it light with the spices/seasonings as purple sprouts are naturally sweet and cooking will easily bring this out as well as that nutty flavor.
- For additional flavor and crunchy texture add nuts like pecans.
- Green brussel sprouts work fine in this recipe, so feel free to substitute them freely.
Making Purple Brussels Sprouts and Grapes
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For another tasty Brussels sprouts recipe try these Brussels Sprouts Quesadillas.
Roasted Purple Brussels Sprouts and GrapesPrint
- 1 lb Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
- 1 cup sweet red seedless grapes, washed
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- ¼ tsp coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to about 375 degrees.
- Using a spice or coffee grinder, grind the fennel and coriander seeds.
- Toss Brussel sprouts with olive oil in a mixing bowl. Season with fennel, coriander, salt and pepper.
- Heat cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Add sprouts and brown for 2-3 minutes. During the last minute add the grapes and balsamic vinegar and stir well.
- Turn off heat and place the skillet of sprouts and grapes into the oven. Roast in the oven until sprouts are fork tender or can be pierced with a knife (about 20 minutes)
For added aroma and flavor feel free to heat the seeds in a skillet for 1-2 minutes.
Walnuts are a great addition for texture and taste.
Regular green purple sprouts work just fine in this recipe