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Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Lemon

Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Lemon Zest

When brussels sprouts first come into season, I could eat them almost daily, tossed with nothing more than olive oil, salt and pepper and pan-fried, and be happy for weeks.

But when you have guests over, perhaps you want to jazz things up a little. There are so many satisfying choices where these crucifers are concerned – bacon, pecans, parmesan, lemon, balsamic vinegar – and you play mix and match with these in your head, and settle on a few.

I love pan-roasting brussels sprouts because it is the least fussy method of preparation, and doing so caramelizes the leaves, which really makes this vegetable shine. And I discovered, totally by accident, that this is a case where crowding the pan is good. What happens is that because they are so packed together, they steam a little while browning and roasting, so they’re both tender in the middle and golden crisp at the edge, which is exactly what you want.

Serves 4 as a small side

1 pound brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons toasted breadcrumbs (instructions below)
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tablespoon butter

To make breadcrumbs: Use the remains of an old baguette. Chop or break into pieces with a sharp knife. Process in the food processor until you have the texture of breadcrumb you desire. To toast them you can either use a toaster oven at 300 degrees until golden brown (this should only take a few minutes), or brown them in a pan. If using a pan, stir frequently so that they don’t burn.

Rinse brussels sprouts. Remove stems and slice each brussels sprout in half lengthwise.

Warm a skillet over a medium flame. Melt the butter for a minute or two in the pan. When everything is nice and hot, add the brussels sprouts. Stir to coat them evenly with butter, then turn all of them so that the cut side is facing down. You will want to cook them for about twenty minutes, and as long as your heat is not too high, you will only need to stir them about three times. When you do stir them, turn down any that are facing up after stirring.

While the brussels sprouts are browning, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper with a fork. Add the lemon zest last – it may clump a little, so break it up with the fork if necessary.

When the brussels sprouts are cooked – tender, with a darker shade of green and nicely caramelized edges – transfer them to a glass bowl. Toss them in the breadcrumb mixture and stir to coat.

Serve hot.

  • Jenny - Thanks for sharing…gonna make these ones for sure since I am looking to use up my sprouts…

    I normally do them in the pan with oil, garlic, chinese 5 spice, soy sauce and rice wine…also a nice way to do them :)ReplyCancel

  • kimberley - Hi Jenny – I’ve been meaning to break from routine with my brussels sprouts habit – next time I’ll have to give your interpretation a whirl!ReplyCancel

  • jenny - BRUSSELS SPROUTS! We’ve probably talked about these lovely veggies before but I am definitely going to try them your way. I usually just roast them but I think adding the lemon will really brighten their flavour! Oh man K.. I love love love your site and I’m so happy it’s here!ReplyCancel

  • cookie - we’re never allowed brussel sprouts in my house as my dad says that the taste reminds him of body odour and indian food.

    however, i do not fall into this category and shall i just say that when i’m next housesitting i will definitely include these on my feast of deliciousness.

    blog love :)


  • Elizabeth - These look delicious! We had an oven-roasted variation for dinner tonight. Wish I’d have thought to add breadcrumbs.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Panini Happy - What a wonderful seasonal side dish. I just had some caramelized brussels sprouts at a restaurant last night, they’re so fantastic.ReplyCancel

  • kimberley - @jenny: We may have discussed brussels sprouts in the past, but that doesn’t mean we can’t again! The lemon zest is a really nice touch. Thanks for being awesome!

    @cookie: Oh no! When I was a kid, peas grossed me out because I thought they smelled like sweat, so in a sense, I can relate. But my sympathies are with you. Get thee to a friend’s house!

    @Elizabeth: Thanks, my friend. I am very much looking forward to your Thanksgiving countdown!

    @Kathy: Thanks! They are indeed fantastic. Addictively so, I think.ReplyCancel

  • Vegolicious - You make brussel sprouts look and sound good. Yum!

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new vegetarian photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian dishes and recipes on the web.ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - @Vegolicious: Hi! Indeedy, I’d be happy to submit. Thanks!
      @LocalEats: Thanks so much for the tweet! I like to hear that it was plate-licking good. ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Love the idea of breadcrumbs to add a little crunch. Your blog is beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • Acquired - Oh I love brussels, I bet this would taste even better if the breadcrumbs were browned with garlic too.ReplyCancel

  • Anon - I absolutely love brussel sprouts and anyway I can get them, they are my favorite veg, no one else in the house will eat them though. Thanks for a great sounding recipe that I look forward to having all to myself.ReplyCancel

  • Tweets that mention Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan and Lemon » The Year In Food -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by LocalEats, Danielle Harms. Danielle Harms said: This recipe for brussels sprouts recipe was so good I had to lick the plate. Brussels Sprouts w/ Breadcrumbs &Parmesan […]ReplyCancel

  • fresh365 - So excited to find your blog! The photos are gorgeous and can’t wait to go through all the archives! This is perfect since I have brussel sprouts sitting in my fridge waiting for inspiration!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole Franzen - love your photos, love your blog.. and these brussels look divine :)

    • kimberley - @Fresh365: Likewise! Your blog is just gorgeous.ReplyCancel

    • kimberley - @Nicole: Yes! Love your photos and blog equally! Great stuff.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny @ meltingbutter - I am FINALLY getting around to making these tonight… will let you know how they go.. making them with some roast garlic shepherd’s pie…yum yum yum!! :-DDDReplyCancel

  • Stephanie - I bought some brussels sprouts yesterday so I could use this recipe. Delicious!ReplyCancel

  • Samantha - Mmm Mmm Mmm, this is what I’m making with my dinner CANNOT wait! Will let you know how it turns out once they’ve been made :D!


  • Elisa Miller - Thanks you for the recipe! MmmMmm Mmm “brussel sproud” delicious!!!!!.,ElisaReplyCancel

  • Sandra - Traveling 3hrs to family and bringing veggies. What’s the best prep or should I cook fully at home first or when I get to family? Would like to have done before hand will they hold?ReplyCancel


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