Brussels Sprouts Sautéed with Garlic in Olive Oil

I used to hate Brussels sprouts. I think it was my elementary school cafeteria that ruined them for me.

I still remember the way the cafeteria cooked them. Boiled until they were colorless. And they smelled slightly sulphuric…like eating them might turn you into a Brussels sprout zombie.

And so I stayed away. I turned up my nose at them whenever they were offered to me. That was until I was introduced to Brussels sprouts that had been sautéed in olive oil and Brussels sprouts that had been oven-roasted.

This dish has made me a Brussels sprouts convert.


A few years ago when Charles roasted some sliced Brussels sprouts in the oven, tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and brought them to the table, they didn’t look like Brussels sprouts so I ate them…and fell in love with them. “What are these?” I asked him. “Brussels sprouts,” he said. I was amazed that I found them delicious when I had found them hideous before.

So I’m convinced now that sometimes, when a food is not cooked properly, you can turn people off certain things…like Brussels sprouts.

At Thanksgiving last year I had to work, so we made plans to eat at The Allison Inn & Spa, a wine-country inn in Newberg.

The main course was roast turkey served with mashed potatoes, and I spied a few small bright-green leaves that had been sautéed and used to garnish the mashed potatoes. When I tasted them, I had trouble figuring out what they were. “I think these are Brussels sprouts,” Charles said. The chef had painstakingly peeled off each leaf in the little round heads of Brussels sprouts and sautéed them.

So it inspired us to try it at home. It’s a little time-consuming to get as many individual leaves as you can off each head before quartering what remains. We would then wash them in cold water, drain them, and sauté some chopped garlic in olive oil until they were golden and then toss in the Brussels sprouts and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

We had company for dinner recently and he was an avowed Brussels sprouts hater. He too was amazed that he liked them this way and ended up eating two servings and taking home what was left!

So if you’ve been turned off to these wonderful veggies because you remember them as those smelly, yellow, overcooked balls, try this dish. We bet you’ll end up loving them!

Brussels Sprouts Sautéed with Garlic

  1. A dozen Brussels sprouts, washed. Peel off as many of the large individual outer leaves as you can and then quarter the rest
  2. 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. 3 tablespoons (45 ml.) olive oil
  4. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) balsamic vinegar
  • Heat the oil over a high flame in a large pan or pot big enough to hold all of the Brussels sprouts leaves and quarters.
  • Sauté the garlic until golden.
  • Add Brussels sprouts quarters and leaves, stirring to evenly cook the leaves until they turn a bright green. It should take you no more than 4 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, toss and serve.

Serve and enjoy!

PS. If you’re a Brussels sprouts hater, we dare you to try them cooked this way. Let us know if we convert you!

— Vic

Victor Panichkul is a journalist and writer by training; a cook, wine lover and photographer by passion; and a lover of the outdoors since moving to Oregon more than 10 years ago. He is a native of Bangkok, Thailand.

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