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Brussels Sprouts with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

by Emma on December 20, 2011

in Side Dishes,Vegan

I think I may have a new food obsession. Brussels sprouts. I. love. them. I want to eat them all the time. I recommend them to friends. I think about them when they’re not around…

I can feel it coming on. Like a bad crush.

But they are just so cute, like tiny little baby cabbages. And they are so delicious, and I’m just sure they must be good for you. So, hey, why not. But if you are going to get obsessed with one vegetable then you had better find a few different ways to eat it.

I adore brussels sprouts with nothing but a little salt and lemon juice, sure. But this time I decided I wanted to drizzle on something little heady. Add a little depth and dimension to the crunch. So I made a balsamic vinegar reduction (with thyme) and it was wonderful. This dressing would be great on a salad too so if you end up with a little too much don’t sweat it.

You shouldn’t sweat (read: worry about) that anyway. That would be a silly thing to worry over. Geez.

Brussels Sprouts with a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction, can feed 2-3 as a side or 1 really crazy blogger.

I cooked my brussels sprouts basically the same way I did in this recipe, except I cut them into 4 instead of 2 (I quartered them) and I let them get a tad burnt. I like them burnt, a little. But you do your thing.

For the reduction all you need is 1-2 cups of balsamic vinegar. You can adjust how much you start with based on how much you want to make. In a small pot bring it to a boil over medium/low heat. Cook for 12-15 minutes until it thickens into more of a sauce consistency. Remove it from the heat and sprinkle in 2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme. Let it cool just a bit before drizzling it over your sprouts.

That’s it. Super easy, huh?

xo. Emma

P.S. Do you have a favorite way to prepare brussels sprouts? I’d love to hear it!


Gina_AcuteDesigns December 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I just had a similar dish last weekend at a restaurant…the only difference was that they also added fresh parmesan shaving. AMAZING! I have been craving them ever since and a, making them for Christmas dinner :) .

Emma December 20, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Mmm… that sounds good!

Han December 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I really really don’t like brussels lol. Then again Mr Han LOVES them! I swear Christmas Dinner he could have one bit of turkey and the rest of the plate be brussels and he’d be happy!

Megan West December 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm

I am also currently obsessed with brussel sprouts! I’ve been sauteing them in butter & olive oil with s & p & serving them over fettuccine noodles with a dash of parmesan on top. It’s sooo good. I will definitely try this balsamic reduction w/ the rest of my sprouts for dinner tonight. mmmm.

Tatiana December 20, 2011 at 5:12 pm

This looks delicious! Will have to try. Thanks!

Amanda December 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I HATED brussels sprouts up until Thanksgiving and now I’m a little obsessed. My mom made them with bacon and mushrooms and it’s all I could think about for weeks. So good!

Weezie December 20, 2011 at 5:22 pm
hannah alehandra December 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Mmm this looks so good, anything to make the dreaded brussel sprouts taste better!!

Karolina Pettersson December 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm

It’s fun to hear that more people than me is obsessed with brussels sprouts! Most people always want to tell me how much they hate brussels sprouts and I always feels like I’m their only friend! :)
So I’m pleased to hear that more people than me like them. I love them in any ways, just as they are or as you said, with some salt and lemon juice it’s delicious. And some butter perhaps. :) Mmm, best ever!

Mama Smith December 20, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I love this combination. I usually drizzle the sprouts with balsamic vinegar before I roast them which tastes yummy but does make them go kind of gray instead if the lovely green you’ve got going!

Andrea Lynne Rose December 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

These look so yummy and Im such a big fan of brussels sprouts! Ill have to try these.

Joelle Raynes December 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm

This sounds lovely, can’t wait to make them! I l usually sauteed brussel sprouts with toasted hazelnuts and cider vingear, it’s yummy too!

heidi December 20, 2011 at 10:50 pm

You didn’t mention that balsamic reduction makes your house smell!

but it’s delicious.

traci December 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

YES. I’m in love with brussels sprouts and Sam’s has them so cheap right now. Currently love them tossed in coconut oil, a little s&p and roasted.

Jaclyn T December 20, 2011 at 11:46 pm

LOVE B sprouts!

–Jaclyn T
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Money4ThisNot4That December 21, 2011 at 2:02 am

Haha! I am not alone. I ate a whole batch one night myself. At little sick, but it was worth it. I even ventured out and made brussel sprout pizza, you can read all about it.

candace December 21, 2011 at 3:24 am

Mmm, I love brussels…they’re so good like this!

I tried a really rich way of preparing them over Thanksgiving, (smothered in smoked gouda) and it was a dream come true…not so healthy, but man!
Here’s a link to the recipe:

dena miller December 21, 2011 at 3:43 am

I have a great recipe for brussels sprouts:
3 tbs of grapeseed oil,1 tbs of minces shallots,12 large brussells sprouts,3/4 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios and 2tbs of fresh lemon juice. Heat oil on med. heat add shallots and stir, add sprouts and pistachios. Saute’ until sprouts soften but are still green…about 3 min. drizzle with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper…..YUM!!!!


Angela December 21, 2011 at 5:21 am

Happy christmas! Made these tonight based on your recipe…so delicious! Thank you! Made the kitchen smell delicious and went perfectly with our chicken parm and veggie fettuccini. So glad I found food coma

Allie December 21, 2011 at 6:26 am

Another thing that goes well mixed with caramelized brussels is golden raisins and onions. I recommend giving it a try next time…unless of course you don’t like raisins or onions. :)

Gayna December 21, 2011 at 8:09 am

Hi, I love them fried with bacon, garlic and onion, finished with a small amount of butter and s& p, also fried with ecshallots and toasted almond flakes, also with a bit of butter, I think my methods render them bad for you, who cares they taste amazing!

Frankie December 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

MmM. I love brussel sprouts. I just created my own recipe where I braised them in red wine and vegetable broth, with some thyme and rosemary. They were delicious, and would be even better if they were roasted right after being braised so they’d be a little crunchy. Definitely trying them again this weekend. :)

Lisa December 21, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Hah, it’s so funny to hear the words “brussel sprouts” and “delicious” in the same sentence. I don’t know about you, but brussel sprouts were the bane of my childhood. We would be made to eat them at least once a week… and of course, as a child, you’d leave them til last on your plate, so they were icky and cold. Then only some tomato sauce could save them… but only just.

They’re quite a British thing, the ol sprouts. I have to say, the ones from 15-20 years ago when I was a kid were MASSIVE. These days they’re nice and cute and bite-sized. Anyway, love your blog, and I will be giving this recipe a go. Maybe I’ll even make them for my Mum – although if I voluntarily eat brussel sprouts, she might die of shock.

Tracy December 22, 2011 at 2:41 am

Hey Emma – this looks delicious! :) Do you read the Pioneer Woman? She has a Christmas Special on Food Network right now, and she roasted brussel sprouts – then drizzled them in a balsamic reduction. Yours – and hers – look amazing!! :)

Anita December 22, 2011 at 5:03 am

I love Brussels sprouts so much! My favorite prep has basically the same end result as yours. I halve or quarter them, based on size, toss in EVOO and freshly ground black pepper, and roast at 400 degrees until they get those lovely golden sides and brown edges. Then I place them in a serving dish and toss them with fresh thyme and balsamic glaze. Yum!
I hope that you are having an awesome holiday season, Emma! xoxo, Anita

Michelle B. December 22, 2011 at 5:22 am

My husband and i boil them then saute them in some olive oil with salt and pepper. We then toss them in Trader Joes wasabi mayo!! mmmmm just a little and it adds a yummy bite to it:)

heidi w. December 22, 2011 at 3:41 pm

tried this recipe last night and the sprouts were to die for. yum! thanks for the recipe, emma!

Célèste December 22, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I love them two. How about roasted with apples and bacon? Details:

shannon December 23, 2011 at 3:50 am

Oh yum!! I love Brussel’s Sprouts.

happilyfull December 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm

i love brussels sprouts. yummmmmm!
your recipe looks simple yet delicious! i will have to try it out soon! :D

Shannon January 4, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I thought that I hated brussel sprouts until a few months ago, when I realized that I actually had never given them a proper chance. They are now one of my favorite foods.

nicole j. wroblewski January 19, 2012 at 6:06 am

I follow your instagram and after seeing all your sprout photos I guess I got it into my head that I needed to finally try them. So tonight, despite my husband’s protestations, I cooked (and loved) them. I heeded your advice to burn them a tad and they tasted all the better for it, so thanks!

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Emma January 20, 2012 at 5:32 am

Go for it. :)

Leigh-Ann March 3, 2012 at 3:20 am

I made your gwyneth recipe a few weeks ago and it was yummy! I made this one with supper tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!! I love your recipes :)