Brussels Sprouts Marinated: An Elegant Side Dsih


Brussels sprouts still grace the vegetable aisles, farmer’s markets, and if you are lucky, since this has been such a mild winter, maybe even your garden. While they are not universally popular, those of us who like them are glad to have a couple new ways to prepare them. This recipe for marinated Brussels sprouts came from that nice Ruth Thurston in Machias who often sends me things she has tried out and liked.

Ruth found this recipe in The Victory Garden Cookbook which is her favorite vegetable cook book. When I first started growing vegetables, I relied heavily on the book Crockett’s Victory Garden from which I learned a great deal. Oddly, at that time, I did not own a television so I only occasionally saw the PBS show it was based on, and which the cookbook accompanied.

I love Brussels sprouts. I don’t love marinated mushrooms which Ruth’s recipe calls for. Something about the texture—they’re a little too slippery in the mouth; but you may like them just fine so by all means, be my guest. I substituted in some artichoke hearts. I decided to make a little cross-cut in the top of the sprouts instead of slicing off the top as the original recipe suggested, to let the marinade penetrate.

As marinated vegetables go, I think this dish is pretty elegant. The recipe suggested they would be good as a cocktail snack (agree), or as an addition to a salad (definitely agree), or set upon the table along with olives and pickles (which is how I used them). As I made this dish, I was reminded of a big vegetable and fruit store I used to go to where, from time to time, I could pick up a dollar box of vegetables in variable condition. I would take it home, pick it apart, and sort for salad stuff, harder vegetables for steaming or roasting, some perfect for soup, and some suitable for marinating. I used a simple vinaigrette for them, and kept a jar in the fridge from which I picked out additions to salads, or even tucked into sandwiches or subs. Feel free to skip the marinade recipe and proceed directly to your favorite salad dressing.

Marinated Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4-5
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 12 ounces small mushrooms
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  1. Trim the Brussels sprouts, cut a small cross in the top of each sprout and steam until just tender.
  2. Clean and stem the mushrooms, and add them to the steamed sprouts
  3. Put the oil, lemon juice, water, garlic and herbs into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.
  4. Pour the hot marinade over the sprouts and mushrooms and set aside to cool.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.