BY KATIE LOTT | PHOTOS BY DAVID SZYMANSKI
Brussels sprouts are having a moment — and let’s hope it never ends. Earthy, versatile, toothsome and oh so satisfying, this mini cruciferous vegetable (which are actually the unopened bud of a flower) are popping up in fresh ways on menus all around town.
Of course, Mom knew that Brussels sprouts were good for you, but, more often than not, they were boiled within an inch of their lives and, if they weren’t hidden under the mashed potatoes by avoidant children, consumed as a matter of obligation. Now this adorable mini-veg is found roasted, fried, shredded and sautéed — and even atop oven-roasted pizzas.
At their best after the first frost, find fresh Brussels sprouts now at the Fondy and West Allis farmers markets and Milwaukee Winter Farmers Market or check out local spots to sample these seasonal beauties in myriad ways.
Crispy Brussels sprouts
At popular Shorewood watering hole Cloud Red, you can roll in, find a seat at the bar or at a two-top and sample sharable plates and sandwiches from their fresh and casual menu. Owners Rebecca Goldberger and Lis Duggan keep the vibe easy through self-service ordering at the bar and an ever-evolving menu of beers and seasonal cocktails. Last summer, they opened a quiet patio behind the restaurant, but one thing hasn’t changed — the crispy Brussels sprouts that are among their most beloved menu items.
This eminently sharable portion (read: huge) features perfectly browned sprouts tossed with a jalapeno herb aioli, burnt honey and pickled onion. Drizzled with a lemon goat cheese sauce and topped with seasonal sprouts, there’s only one thing to say when this giant bowl is placed in front of you: OMG.
4488 N. Oakland Ave., Shorewood
Sobelman’s Bloody Mary
Photo by Laura Dierbeck
When Dave Sobelman opened his now famous burger joint at its original Menomonee Valley location, he served a bloody mary with the standard fixings: celery stick, olive and lemon wedge. Then he met his neighbor, Reinhard Lieber of Bay View Packing, who just happened to be pickling everything from pig’s feet to sausages to asparagus in his plant next door. Sobelman’s stroke of genius was to source pickled ingredients from Lieber and put them atop the bloody mary – a compunction that has led to increasingly outrageous versions of the drink, the latest including an entire fried chicken.
For purists, Sobelman’s classic bloody mary hits the spot. It includes a pickled Brussels sprout and, natch, comes with a beer chaser.
Locations in Milwaukee, Mequon, Waukesha and Richfield
Autumn Brussels sprout roast
Toss a few fresh ingredients together on a roasting pan and voila! You’ve got a delicious seasonal side dish for a November meal.
• 1 pint brussels sprouts
• 1 apple, cored, sliced and cut into chunks
• Garlic clove, minced
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Zest of one lemon
• 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Trim ends of brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthwise. Toss Brussels sprouts, apple and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place on parchment paper on roasting pan or sheet. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, turning once to ensure sprouts are browned on both sides.
Remove from oven, place in a warmed bowl and top with lemon zest and fresh thyme. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
Skip the fast food drive-thru and get your green on with these healthy take-out options.
Brussels Sprout Grinder
For a satisfying meal on the go, grab a Brussels Sprout Grinder to go from the Walker’s Point bar and eatery. This earthy sandwich features walnuts and walnut butter, cheddar cheese and apple. Side of fries? Yes, please.
434 S. 2nd St.
Pizza Man Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Next time you order pizza from this classic joint, don’t forget your greens! This fresh and crisp salad includes arugula, marcona almonds, dried cherries and ricotta cheese and makes a fine meal in itself.
Locations in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and Oak Creek