It seems that Brussels sprouts have had a comeback as of late. And rightfully so. Not only are the leafy, miniature cabbage-like greens delicious steamed, roasted, fried, or raw; they also have fantastic health benefits -- including both cholesterol-lowering and cancer-preventing agents. Thankfully, plenty of Houston restaurants have taken to showcasing the heart-friendly cruciferous veggies on their menus.
While Brussels sprouts are cultivated around the year, their peak season is during colder months, meaning it is almost at its end. So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and get 'em while they're cold!
Here are five standout brussels sprouts dishes that we recommend trying:
1. Miso Brussels Sprouts at Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
Chef Monica Pope is known for a few things in the kitchen -- her locavore mentality and the unpretentious, simple preparations paired with wonderfully complex flavors. Her dichotomous food is showcased perfectly by the beautiful sprout side dish at her casual, intimate restaurant, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop.
The mini wild cabbages are crisped and tossed in a caramelized miso vinaigrette, giving each sprout a just-firm-enough bite. Sweet, tangy, salty and sticky, they make a stunning accompaniment to the restaurant's selection of center plates.
2. Flash-Fried Sprouts at Goro & Gun
Executive Chef JD Woodward has reimagined Goro & Gun's cuisine, stepping up their game to match the hip spot's phenomenal bar program by creating simpler, more approachable fare.
But simpler doesn't mean boring...and bold and exciting dishes like the flash-fried Brussels sprouts will prove just that. The slightly bitter sprouts have a pleasant crunchy twinge, while pickled plump yellow raisins add a tender and juicy pop to the dish. A bowl is just $9 and makes the perfect appetizer or side dish for two.
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3. Uchi's Crispy Brussels Sprouts
You wouldn't think the unassuming Brussels sprout would be one of the most talked-about dishes at the award-winning Japanese restaurant Uchi, but it's true: The dish has been one of the most popular items since the restaurant's opening two years ago.
Fried and tossed in a sweet chili-fish sauce with a punch of fresh lemon juice, the cabbages are crisped and deeply caramelized, making each and every mouthful beautifully sweet, spicy, and citrusy all at once. At $6, this dish is a must-try.
4. Shaved Sprout Salad at Dolce Vita
Who knew a raw sprout salad could be so good? Chef Marco Wiles, of Italian hotspots Da Marco, Dolce Vita, and Vinoteca Poscol, did, of course. You can find the small plate under the verdura section of Dolce Vita's menu.
The almost slaw-like salad is bright and tart, while briny crumbles of nutty and buttery pecorino and punchy cracked black pepper round out the dish. At just $5, the wispy sprouts pairs beautifully with the restaurant's rustic wood-fired pizzas and delicate pastas.
5. Brussels Sprouts & Bacon at City Oven
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If there's one thing that makes any green taste better, it's salty and fatty cured pig. Obviously, Brussels sprouts are no different.
Heights pizza-and-meatball-joint City Oven tosses hunks of bacon alongside their sprouts, then finishes them with a splash of hard cider for extra zip. We recommend ordering a side, because you should really be eating more vegetables...especially if those vegetables are made with bacon.
Honorable mention (because we really want to prove how well sprouts and bacon get along with chicken, too): Roast Chicken with Bacon Spaetzle and Crispy Brussels Sprouts at Haven and Oven-Roasted Chicken and Brussels with Braised Apples, Pecans, and Bacon at Roost.
What are your favorite brussels sprout dishes around town?