Brussels Sprouts

By Margaret Christie, CISA’s Special Programs Director.

One good thing about buying local Brussels sprouts is that often they’re sold on the stalk, so you can see the surprising way they grow, like little knobs up the stem. Another is that you know they’ve been sweetened by a few cold nights. Sautéed Brussels sprouts—with shallots, a little bacon, or roasted nuts—are nutty and rich, a revelation for the naysayers at your Thanksgiving table. Local restaurants do good things with them, too: the deep fried ones at Hope and Olive in Greenfield, served with aioli, might be addictive.

I don’t deep fry things at home, though, so often I just sauté Brussels sprouts with a little olive oil, salt, garlic, and some kind of onions, maybe some balsamic vinegar. Last year I made this Brussels sprouts hash with the last of my sprouts, and thought I might not be able to live without it until the season came round again this year. That’s on my Thanksgiving list this year. Former CISA staffer Mark Lattanzi reminded me that Brussels sprouts, like many other things, are better with a little bacon (or at least bacon fat), and I think I’ll have to add that when I make this recipe this year. Mark also passed along this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots with Balsamic Vinegar.