Here’s the deal:
It’s almost winter, and I’m being a realist: I might not get to harvest actual Brussels sprouts this year. My plants just didn’t grow fast enough this year. BUT I can come up with creative recipes to eat the Brussels plant leafy green tops.
I wanted to come up with a way to eat the Brussels sprout tops that are growing in my garden and I couldn’t find any recipes online for just the tops and leaves.
I grew ’em, and I’m gonna eat ’em, damnit.
I started by clipping off the top of one of my plants. I took a photo of the Brussels leaf harvest next to my face, for size reference.
I took a kitchen scissors and snipped off the leaves from the stems, then washed it all.
(“Kitchen scissors” = scissors I intend on running through the dishwasher at some point.)
From there, I decided on 4 different ways I would try preparing the Brussels leaves:
- oven roasted Brussels leaves with olive oil & salt
- oven roasted Brussels stems with butter
- dehydrated Brussels leaves, plain
- dehydrated Brussels leaves, olive oil & salt
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprout Leaves Recipe
After rinsing the leaves, I tossed them lightly in olive oil, layed them flat on a cookie sheet, and sprinkled them with sea salt.
After only 5 minutes at 400F, they crisped right up and browned.
Reviewing the Recipe: I used too much olive oil, and it was greasy. The crunchy texture was great, though. Really light and crisp. The leaves were still slightly bitter (like raw zucchini), but the flavor was mostly just like roasted Brussels sprouts.
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprout Stems
After clipping off all of the leafy bits, I used the scissors to chop up the stems. I put them in a glass baking pan with some butter and ground black pepper.
I put it in the oven at 400F for 15 minutes, then stirred it and put it in for another 15 minutes. (= 30 minutes total cook time.)
Reviewing the Recipe: The flavor was good, but the stems were slightly tough. They weren’t quite as woody as the base of asparagus stems, but it was more fibrous than I was expecting. If I clipped the pieces shorter, this would’ve been a better dish. The roasted Brussels stems tasted just like roasted Brussels sprouts. No bitter taste.
Dehydrated Brussels Sprout Leafy Tops (Plain & With Olive Oil)
The dehydrated Brussels sprout tops were my favorite. They took a little longer to “cook,” but it was worth the wait.
I did two different versions of dehydrated leaves – one completely plain, and one lightly coated in olive oil and sea salt.
After 90 minutes in the dehydrator, both versions of the Brussels tops were completely crispy and delicious. Unlike baking them in the oven, the dehydrated leaves kept their green color.
Reviewing the Recipe: This one was the best! I give this Brussel sprout tops recipe a humble five stars. The dehydrated version with olive oil and salt was everything I was hoping for, but better. The dehydrator kept the green color, it was fast (fast for a dehydrator anyway), there was no bitter flavor whatsoever, and it lightly tasted like Brussels sprouts. The texture was great – light and crispy. It was too delicate to be able to dip it in anything, but the salty/savory flavor really didn’t need a dip. They turned out delicious.
Bottom line – If I found the dehydrated Brussels sprout leaves with olive oil & sea salt in the store, I would happily buy a bag.
So there. Even if my tiny, undeveloped Brussels sprouts don’t get big enough to eat before the snow falls, I can make something delicious out of the plant leaves. I’ll call that a victory.