Lemony Leaves of Love ♥

Today's vegetable recipe: Leaves of Brussels sprouts sautéed with shallot and pistachios, drizzled with Meyer lemon juice. Vegan. Low carb. Weight Watchers 2 points.

I've been captivated by the innovative vegetable recipes in the February issue of Bon Appetit. (Remember the salt-roasted beets?) With this recipe, the magazine promises to convert all who hate Brussels sprouts. Me, I make no such promise but this, for baby-cabbage lovers, is one more good way to cook Brussels sprouts.

The technique is to remove the leaves and discard the cores. Task-wise, this felt like teeeeeeedious prep, sprout by sprout, leaf by leaf, core by core (although a glass of wine might have helped!) and resulted in considerable waste: a generous pound of Brussels sprouts trimmed down to half that.

It also took a good 20 minutes. Some forewarning from the magazine about prep time would have been appreciated, especially since the stated cooking time of 4 minutes created the impression of a 'quick' recipe. And then -- after those prescribed 4 minutes, the leaves were still completely raw and took a good 15 minutes to cook. (Ha! Maybe the conversion idea was that people who hate cooked Brussels sprouts will love raw ones? Too bad, there's actually a chemical reason why people don't like Brussels sprouts.)

Still, all these things aside, taste-wise, the combination of the shallot, pistachios, lemon and Brussels sprouts leaves is a complete keeper, even if time-, waste- and looks-wise it's more frog than prince.

This is my contribution to the annual Valentine for vegetables called Vegetable Love at FatFree Vegan Kitchen. Susan is collecting recipes for vegetable recipes that are vegan and low-fat. (Hmmm ... I wonder how many recipes on A Veggie Venture would qualify. A bunch, I bet!)
Note to Vegetarians

PIE LOVERS KitchenParade.com is hosting a special event for Pi Day on March 14th. (Get it?)

Yes, we're baking pies for Pi Day, focusing our entries on the fine art of homemade pie crusts and collecting all our best pie recipes and our tips for making great pie crust.

~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~
~ two years ago today, Fennel, Leek & Mushroom Sauté ~


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 40 minutes
Serves 4 (yes, even with only half a pound of edible leaves, this was quite filling)

1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil (reduced from 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil)
1 large shallot, chopped (increased from 1 tablespoon shallot)
1/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts (reduced from 3/4 cup)

Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice

PREP: Wash and cut off the stem end of each Brussels sprout, cutting about 1/3 into the sprout itself. Slice in half vertically. Remove the core with a v-shaped cut. Separate the leaves from the core. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. etc.

Heat the oil til shimmery on MEDIUM HIGH in a large skillet. Add the shallot, stir to coat with fat and cook for a minute. Add the leaves and pistachios and stir to coat with fat. Cover and let cook for a couple of minutes, checking to make sure they're cooking. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. etc, adding splashes of water for moisture as needed until the leaves are tender.

Season and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover again and let cook another minute or two. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. You almost inspire me to try opening up my copy of bon appetit again. I bought it as I loved the picture of the wholewheat pancakes on the cover. Then I opened it up, only to find they had been made from a packet mix! I was seriously disappointed by that...

  2. You're kidding, Sarah! I missed that entirely and whoa - how could they?!

    But don't bag the issue, there are way more than usual vegetable recipes, esp if you like something out of the ordinary but using familiar ingredients.

  3. Beautiful, if time-consuming. The flavor combination does sound delicious, and I'll have to give it a try.

    Thanks so much for your Vegetable Love entry. It's only fitting since you're the Vegetable Queen!

  4. Does seem a bit labor intensive, but nice to mix up Brussels sprouts with some different ingredients. Me? I'm totally into roasting them until they caramelize and melt in my mouth.

  5. Is there any reason why you couldn't quarter the sprout and smash them?

  6. Ha. Isn't it amazing how these things suddenly appear? It had never occurred to us to use just the leaves until the other day after seeing on Laura Calder's "French Food at Home" Food TV (Canada) show. She sauteed her leaves with chopped bacon and seasoned with salt and pepper.

    We tried it that night (photos are still in our camera) and it was fabulous. We also threw in garlic to ours. Good idea to use shallots though.

    And you're right. It IS time consuming. We did NOT discard the inner centers that were impossible to separate but quartered them and used them just like the leaves.

    Unlike your experience, our leaves were beautifully cooked in about 5 minutes. Maybe we didn't do as many as you did?


  7. I am one of those few people who actually LOVES brussels sprouts. And never having had them this way (who would think of it?), I think this would be a great recipe for a special occasion.

  8. But the core is the best part, so sweet and tender... I would never remove them.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna