I will start this blog post by saying that I LOVE GRILLED BRUSSELS SPROUTS!
That’s saying a lot considering my history with these little green martians from earth…
Brussels—spelled like the city, with an S on the end—Sprouts are not something I remember eating as a kid. It’s not that I didn’t like them—in fact it wasn’t until I was an adult that I decided I very much didn’t like them—I just never ate them growing up. To which, I can only assume that my parents must not have liked them either.
When I finally had a Brussels sprout for the very first time I was at someone else’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, and I was 30 years old. I remember it well. I looked at the little green ball thinking it’s cute and round and green, how bad can it be? I was actually looking forward to the experience! I’d never had a Brussels sprout that I could remember, I might like it! It smelled a little like a cabbage and for the most part I enjoyed cole slaw and sauerkraut and other cabbagy things. So why not?! Well this particular Brussels sprout was on a mission to be hated. It was whole and boiled, bland and unseasoned and I popped that baby in my mouth expecting taste bud nirvana. What I got instead was a squirt of bitter hot liquid that almost made me gag! So in the process of trying not to make THAT FACE in front of my host, I found a casual (OMG it’s AWFUL!) way to spit it into my napkin without anyone being the wiser. Thank God my napkin was paper, otherwise could you imagine my host’s horror at finding a half chewed Brussels sprout in her laundry bin! Yep, I think I swore on my life that that was my first and last experience with the little green monsters! Until, three years later in San Fransisco…
Grilled Brussels Sprouts – So Good You’ll Eat Your Veggies!
Not only do I leave my heart in San Fransisco every time I go, but when I was 33 I also fell in love with Grilled Brussels Sprouts there. Given my first experience with the green eyed beasts, you’d think I’d never consider the prospect of putting another one even close to my mouth let alone my taste buds, ah but the things we do for love…
It was one of my first times in San Fransisco with Double Portions (DP) since we’d become an item and you know how that is! Keep in mind too that Brussels sprouts weren’t all the rage on every appetizer and side menu back then like they are today. When they were, they usually weren’t loaded with two of my personal holy trinity of cooking—butter and bacon. (The third is beer in case you were wondering—“How can anything taste bad when you add beer, butter or bacon to it?”) At that time, Brussels were sort of an anomaly for an upscale restaurant, even in San Fran; and for many of us with bad sprouting memories, a taboo topic.
I think our conversation at the famous Kuleto’s restaurant went something like this:
DP: “Look Kuleto’s has grilled Brussels sprouts on the menu. I don’t think I’ve had them grilled before. Should we try them?”
DP: “What’s wrong? You look like a deer caught in headlights?”
CC: “No, uh, I’m fine. Brussels spouts. Sure. Brussels sprouts sound great!” (fake smile and batting of eyelashes)
Shortly they appeared in front of us. A BIG HUGE PILE of them all chopped up, with crispy brown edges and smelling ok I admit, kind of good. I was sort of tempted. For starters, I have a hard time passing up anything that comes off a grill. I have a thing for all those tasty carbon carcinogens! You only live once, right? Plus, anything that smells good is right up my alley and these did, so I tentatively took a bite…
CC: (Talking much louder than my restaurant voice should have been) “Oh. My. God! These are AMAZEBALLS! Seriously, they are so good! I can’t believe how good these are! They can’t be Brussels sprouts!”
DP: “You mean…” (pregnant pause and confused look) “You don’t LIKE Brussels sprouts?”
CC: (Oops! Me back peddling) “Well, uh, sort of… No… Yes… I mean… Ok my first experience with Brussels wasn’t so great so I wasn’t sure I would like them.”
DP: “And you let me order them anyway?”
CC: “Because YOU obviously like them?”
DP: “Actually I couldn’t remember if I liked them either…”
We both had a good laugh over that one, and we’ve been making Grilled Brussels Sprouts ever since! These are the best Grilled Brussels Sprouts you’ll ever have and since then we’ve added bacon to honor the trinity and it made them even better! Oh and if you’re a vegetarian—unless you’re a VERY bad one—skip the bacon. They’ll still taste wonderful!
NINJAfied Grilled Brussels Sprouts Process Notes
As you know I do not to date, own a food processor; so to chop my Brussels sprouts, I have always used my Ninja blender. Recently, Ninja Kitchen sent me a new Ninja to try out—the Nutri Ninja Auto IQ Blender Duo—so I thought I’d put it to the test with these Brussels. It did a great job and made quick work of the sprouts! Just a few pulses and you’re home free. I’m loving this thing! Thanks Ninja!
The key here is that you actually want them chopped to smithereens—Not so much that they are like New Year’s confetti mind you, but definitely mulched. I actually think this is part of the reason why they taste so good, though I admit to having no scientific proof of this fact.
If you are Ninja-less you can use a food processor or just chop them up with a very sharp knife.
The other thing is that you really DO want to put them on a real gas or charcoal grill if you can. We have gas. TMI! ANYway… They may work in the oven, but I haven’t tried it. If you try yours in the oven, let me know how they turn out in the comments section below. I think the grill is what makes the edges all crispy crunchy brown and tasty. It’s my favorite part!
Grilled Brussels Sprouts Secret Ingredient
Shhhh! We use a secret ingredient that makes all of our grilled veggies and especially these Grilled Brussels Sprouts taste uber amazing! It’s something you would never think of to put on veggies! Can you keep our secret?
For years we’ve used it on meats from steak to prime rib to pork, but veggies?! AYE!
All the credit goes to DP for this one. She’s the mastermind behind the Canadian curtain.
Grilled Brussels Sprouts Serving Suggestion
We served up our Grilled Brussels Sprouts with a marinated and grilled Tri-Tip roast that was OMG TO DIE FOR; and a grilled Sweet Tater that we left on the grill till it got so sweet and soft and carmelized that it needed not one accoutrement not even the blessed butter! Plane Jane and Perfect!
If I can ever talk DP into finishing her tips on grilling blog post, you might get lucky and get that tri-tip recipe as part of the deal! In the mean time, let’s move on to the important stuff. The Grilled Brussels Sprouts recipe…
- 15 Brussels sprouts (give or take a few)
- Olive oil
- Montreal steak seasoning by McCormick
- Bacon bits (optional)
- Clean and Chop your brussels. I use my Nutri Ninja Auto IQ Blender on Pulse. Don’t over do it.
- Place finely chopped brussels spouts on a good sized sheet of tin foil.
- Liberally sprinkle on bacon bits.
- Drizzle lightly with olive oil from end to end.
- Sprinkle with McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning. (Sub salt and pepper if you don’t have Montreal Steak Seasoning.)
- Fold each side of foil to center, roll up the ends and middle, sealing the foil well.
- Place on HOT grill (at least 400 degrees).
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, turn package once and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Do not open the package during cooking! HOT STEAM!
- Serve as a side dish with your favorite grilled meat and some Frontera Wine! Super Yummy Good!
Heavy duty tin foil
Gas or charcoal grill