When you think about fall vegetables, you are likely to think of pumpkins, butternut squash, and carrots. But there’s another little green veggie that also becomes available in the fall: the humble Brussel sprout. These petite vegetables look like miniature heads of bright green iceburg lettuce, but they contain far more nutrients.
Brussel sprouts contain large amounts of fiber, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. In fact, one cup of sprouts equals 124% of your daily amount of vitamin C. When steamed or roasted, Brussel sprouts have a natural nutty and delicious flavor. But if you’re looking to elevate, or just change, the flavor of your next batch of sprouts, try adding these aromatic, flavorful ingredients.
Lemon or Lemon Juice
The acid notes of lemons compliment the nutty, warm flavors of Brussel sprouts. If you’re roasting the sprouts, you can add lemon wedges to the baking sheet and even squeeze some juice over all the ingredients. Another option is to use a zester and zest the lemon over the sprouts after you’ve lightly coated them in olive oil. Whether you’re roasting or steaming the sprouts, you can always add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice to the sprouts once they are done cooking to add a night, bright note.
That sweet, pure taste of maple syrup isn’t just for your pancakes anymore. The sugary notes of the syrup pair well with the hearty notes of the sprouts for a vegetable dish that people may want for dessert as well. As with the lemon, you can add a drizzle of maple syrup to your Brussel sprouts before you roast them, or you may choose to add the syrup to the cooked sprouts. Either way, just be sure to make enough for seconds.
For those who are more daring in their flavor pairings, the flowery, acidic notes of orange may be the way you want to go. If you’re preparing your Brussel sprouts in a pan, you can easily add orange zest and fresh orange juice to the mixture. Another option is to separately prepare an orange glaze that you can drizzle overtop the cooked Brussel sprouts.
And speaking of glazes, another delicious option is the thick, dreaminess of Balsamic glaze. This lovely, viscous topping is the simple reduction of balsamic vinegar, sugar, and a little bit of salt. You can buy it at the store or even make it at home from scratch. Either way, have some on hand when those roasted sprouts come out of the oven. Drizzle a healthy amount of the Balsamic glaze over the entire batch while it’s still steaming hot and prepare to take your first bite of Brussel sprouts at a whole new level.
Herbs and Spices
Let’s say you want to keep things au natural. There are quite a few herbs that pair well with Brussel sprouts and maintain the earthy flavors. Common herbs like rosemary and parsley are a nice way to use your home-grown herbs. Simply take a few sprigs and mix them in with the other ingredients on the baking sheet before roasting the sprouts. Another idea is strip the herbs from their stems and add them to steamed sprouts. If you’re feeling spicy, reach into your pantry for nutmeg, marjoram, all spice, or even smoked paprika. Sprinkle the spices over your pre-roasted Brussel sprouts and stick around while your entire kitchen fills with the delicious smells of spiced, roasted goodness.