Monday, January 30, 2012

Hashed Brussels sprouts with za'atar and pine nuts

We are Brussels sprouts addicts.  My wife used to hate them, but then we started roasting them (see several recipes here) and she was converted.  There are only two issues (I use this word because I don't really consider them to be problems although some people, like the one to whom I am married, do) with roasted Brussels sprouts.  They can take a long time to cook -- 30 minutes or so, and the timing is unpredictable.  Ircan be difficult to get them just right, and if you cook them too long, they can get too "cabbagey." (Again, this is in quotation marks because I don't really see it as a problem, but other people eat the food I cook as well.)

Shredding the sprouts prior to cooking resolves these issues.  (We even buy pre-shredded sprouts.) They cook quickly, in under 10 minutes.  Also, the doneness is easy to control, so they come out brown but still a bit crunchy and nutty tasting.  They are not much more work to prepare than whole or halved sprouts, especially if your knife is nice and sharp.  We have been making them with za'atar, a Middle Eastern spice blent of thyme, marjoram, sesame and sumac that is available both in stores that stock Middle Eastern and kosher ingredients, and even in many supermarkets.  If you can't find it, mix together 1/2 tablespoon each of crumbled thyme and oregano.  Add a few sesame seeds and about 1/2 teaspoon sumac.  If you don't have sumac, use a bit more lemon juice.

Hashed Brussel Sprouts with Za'atar and Pine Nuts

  • 1 to 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar
  • 2 tablepoons roasted pine nuts (we buy them pre-roasted)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Cut the Brussels sprouts into fine shreds, no more than 1/4 inch thick, leaving the stem behind. Peel and slice the garlic.
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute until soft but not brown.
  3. Add the shredded Brussels sprouts and salt, and turn the heat to high.  Stir and fry for about 5 minutes until some of the shreds are browned.  Taste, and cook a bit more if desired. 
  4. Add za'atar, pine nuts and lemon juice.  Serve hot to 4 people as a side dish.

Leftovers for breakfast:  heat 1/2 to 1 cup leftover sprouts in a small nonstick skillet, sprayed with oil spray.  When warm, push to the side to make a nest in the center.  Crack in an egg, cover the skillet and cook on medium until white is set and the yolk is still soft. Serve on toast if you want.

Brussels sprouts and eggs for dinner:  Use between 12 ounces and one pound of shredded sprouts.  Cook as above, but crack 4 eggs onto the cooked, shredded sprouts.  Sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan or grana Padano on the eggs, and cover and cook until done.


  1. Wow -- a new way to enjoy one of our favorite vegetables! My daughter brought back some Za'atar for me from Israel, so I am all set. Thanks!

  2. Glad you liked it. I have several other za'atar recipes on the blog, check them out.