Recipe: brussel sprouts with mint and apples

Either it’s a brutally slow week for news, or I’m in some sort of post-holiday slump. In either case, I’m going to close out this week’s entries with some low-carbon cooking. If you don’t like brussel sprouts, stop reading. If, like all right-thinking people, you understand that brussel sprouts are awesome, but want to move beyond the “sautee in buckets of butter” or “roast until crispy” methods of preparation, read on.

This recipe is not only vegetarian but vegan. It’s also, in my opinion, one of my more successful recent experiments. Enjoy.


* 1/2 lb brussel sprouts (or more — go crazy! Wooo! Brussel sprouts!)
* 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
* 2 tablespoons chopped mint
* 1/2 an apple
* olive oil
* salt


1. Shred the brussel sprouts: cut them in half through the base and lay the halves on their flat sides. Slice them crosswise into thin ribbons. Discard the knobby bit at the base.
2. Julienne the apple into matchstick-sized slivers (here’s how).
3. Over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds in some olive oil until fragrant.
4. Add the shredded brussel sprouts to the hot oil, salt liberally, and cook until the leaves become tender but not too soft (about five minutes).
5. Take off the heat and stir in the mint and apples.


* If you’re feeling lazy, you can cut down on chopping and shopping time by omitting both the fennel seeds and the apple. The dish loses a little something, but it’s still more than good enough for a weekday side.
* Or skip the apples and add sweetness via raisins or currants, which don’t require chopping.
* Nuts. I’m thinking maybe pistachios.

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  1. Agnes Kite - January 6, 2010

    I have to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing recipes in the newsletter. Any chance of making them a more consistent contribution? With the exception of a recent 3-month hiatus, I work full time at a physically demanding job, and much as I love cooking, it is hard to want to do so at the end of the day. I also have to juggle my vegetarian diet, which is further restricted by a chronic illness, with my boyfriend’s omnivorous diet (which means he generally eats the exact opposite of what I’m able to eat). I’ve seen so many recipes that are not only healthy, but easy and quick to make, and can appeal to just about anyone’s taste, that I don’t have any excuse not to cook when I get home. This one sounds fantastic–it might also be good with pine nuts or pepitas. Keep ’em coming!

  2. Adam Stein - January 6, 2010

    Hi Agnes,
    Glad you like the recipes. Much as senators respond to constituent letters, I’m easily swayed by reader comments. As you might guess, the recipes are driven by my own somewhat idiosyncratic cooking habits, but I’ll try to make them more regular. I certainly enjoy writing them.
    – Adam
    P.S. Make this one! It’s really good!

  3. Phoenix Woman - January 6, 2010

    Recipes — yum! More, please!
    It’s probably not energy-efficient, but I like to make my own soup stocks for health reasons, as most store-bought stuff is loaded with salt and other preservatives contraindicated by my diet. It’s pretty easy to do — and vegans, rejoice: Veggie soup stocks take less time overall than do meat stocks, though meat stocks are an excellent way to get that last bit of goodness out of the bones before putting them in the trash or the compost pile. (I have no problem with putting organic material in the landfill: That helps it “compost” that much faster.)