Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Veg Out Issue: August 2016
Group Free

If you’ve been shunning Brussels sprouts ever since your mom boiled them into mushy, malodorous oblivion, you’ll be happy to know the vegetable’s preparation has been greatly elevated. Popping up on menus everywhere, the much-maligned Brussels sprout is enjoying a renaissance of sorts. Jordan Lynn, director of culinary development at LGO Hospitality, attributes its growing popularity to modern chefs taking more care with vegetables: “Brussels sprouts have always been delicious, but a soggy, boiled Brussels sprout is not nearly as exciting or tasty as what we do.” 

At Buck & Rider, crispy Brussels sprouts ($10) are deep-fried in soybean oil until they’re golden brown, creating a caramelized crunch, then tossed with apple gastrique – a reduction of apple juice and apple cider vinegar – to add both sweetness and acidity to the dish. Topped with chopped roasted Marcona almonds, the sprouts team up well with the accompanying dipping sauce of creamy goat cheese thinned with buttermilk and then broiled.

Brussels sprouts can hold up to intense heat, and deep-frying helps curtail the inherent bitterness of the cabbage-like vegetable, Lynn says. “And when you deep-fry without any added breading or starch, it doesn’t actually add fat to the dish. It doesn’t make it any richer than if you had sautéed it.” Another advantage? The sprouts cook in less than two minutes. “It’s pretty easy.”