How but in custom and ceremony

Are Innocence and Beauty Born?

—William Butler Yeats


Brussels Sprouts

with Mustard Caper Butter

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

“One should never feel merely obligated to eat Brussels sprouts,” writes Deborah Madison in her cookbook Local Flavors: “They’re good.” Brussels sprouts are the poster-child for vegetables-that-make-children-cry, and they certainly are awful when boiled to a smelly mush. This is a disservice to a vegetable that becomes a delicious show-stopper when properly prepared—by roasting, steaming, or boiling al dente—before seasoning.

Baby brussels sprouts are especially darling: they look like flower buds or tiny green fists. A brief simmer brings out their lovely green, and their mild sweet-bitter taste carries a flavorful sauce well—the zing of garlic and mustard, the saltiness of capers, and the brightness of lemon and marjoram. This dish tastes excellent with fish.

Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Caper Butter

2 garlic cloves

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard, more or less

1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed

grated zest of 1 lemon

3 tablespoons chopped marjoram

2 pounds baby Brussels sprouts

Pound the garlic with 1/2 teaspoons salt in a mortar until smooth, then stir it into the butter with the mustard, capers, lemon zest, and marjoram. Season with pepper. (The  butter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring back to room temperature before serving.) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the brussels sprouts and cook until tender, about eight minutes. Drain, shake off excess water, then toss with the mustard-caper butter. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and toss again. ❖


January 1, 2013     Recipe from Deborah Madison’s cookbook Local Flavors adapted for publication in the e-magazine Maidens of the Master, Vol. 3, Issue 1, Winter 2013.

January 1, 2013    Published as “Brussels Sprouts with Mustard Caper Butter” on the blog Linnet on the Leaf.

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