Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Worknight Dinners
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Last month I left my corporate job to freelance full-time.

Yes, it’s been a big change.

Faced with days upon days of little to no human interaction, and fearing that if I didn’t have a backup plan I’d end up with little to no revenue stream, I decided to get a job at a restaurant and at the end of January started working at the newly-opened Paris Club in downtown Chicago.

At the helm of the kitchen is a James Beard winning French chef whose team turns out approachable French fare that’s unpretentious: you don’t need to speak five languages to decipher the menu but each dish blends an authentic French tradition with contemporary twist.

During the first week of orientation, the entire service staff sampled almost every dish on the menu. The food is delicious but this is where I’m going to confess that after six straight days of tastings, I never wanted to see another order of pommes frites as long as I lived.

That lasted about three days.

There is one dish on the menu that I absolutely adore….and before you start thinking that it must be the Roquefort-crusted filet mignon, the French onion soup fondue or the Maine lobster frites, I’ll go ahead and break the news: it’s Brussels sprouts.

I couldn’t be more thrilled that the green, cruciferous orbs are making their way onto trendy restaurant menus because they’re delicious, healthy and as easy to prepare at home.

So easy to prepare that they inspired me to experiment with my own leafy green vegetables for lunch this week.

Of course, if you’re in Chicago, you should come visit me at work and order the Brussels sprouts.

But if you aren’t, my recipe for Brussels braised in a little bit of butter, olive oil and chicken stock should tide you over until you can score yourself a plane ticket.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Recipe type: Worknight Dinners, Cooking for a Crowd
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 side dish servings
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 Tablespoon butter [vegan modification: omit butter and double the olive oil]
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, outer leaves removed
  • 1 cup chicken stock [or vegetable stock for a vegetarian/vegan option]
  • ⅛ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ⅛ cup golden raisins
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, toss breadcrumbs, thyme and ½ Tablespoon olive oil. Mix until breadcrumbs and olive oil are evenly combined and free from clumps. Spread on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes, or until breadcrumbs appear golden brown.
  2. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan or enameled cast iron French oven (such as Le Creuset) heat butter and olive oil until butter melt. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for about 5 minutes until the edges begin to caramelize. As brown bits (these are called fond and add a lot of flavor) begin to appear on the bottom of your pot, de-glaze the pan by adding half of the chicken stock. Stir and let Brussels sprouts cook in the stock for about 15-20 minutes, adding more chicken stock as needed.
  3. Once stock has evaporated and Brussels sprouts appear tender when pricked with a fork, add the golden raisins and pine nuts. Let cook about 2-3 more minutes and remove from heat. Place in a serving dish or bowl and top with breadcrumb mixture [you may have some extra - save them to top your next batch of macaroni and cheese!]. Season with sea salt and pepper, as desired.


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  • Reply
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  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    These look awesome. I make carmelized BS so I can totally understand the great miz of sweet raisin and crunchy green. Next time I am in Chicago will have to visit you. Congratulations on your new venture !!!

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Congratulations on entering this next chapter of your life!!! Very exciting. I just bought some brussell sprouts yesterday, I may give this a go for dinner tonight. Thanks for this timely post.

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    February 13, 2011 at 1:45 am

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  • Reply
    February 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm

    Congrats on the big change. What do you do for the restaurant?

  • Reply
    February 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    These make me want brussel sprouts and I don’t care for them!

  • Reply
    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
    February 12, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Great minds think alike, Maris! I just wrote about an unexpected Brussels sprouts experience! No one ever thinks they’re going to be the STAR of the show, but they can certainly surprise you.

    These look delicious!

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