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Zesty Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Leeks and Mustard

Yvonne has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from world travel to crafts and recipes.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

15 min

12 min

27 min

Serves 4 people as a side vegetable

Brussel sprouts contain Vitamins A, C and E, and several of the B complex vitamins, including niacin, B-6 thiamin, and pantothenic acid. They contain copper, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. They can protect against heart disease and some cancers, notably colon and prostate.

So they are good for you and you want to eat them. But if all you’ve ever had is boiled mush you probably don’t want to eat them all that much.

Let me introduce you to a totally new way with sprouts that will wipe away your doubts—and if you already love this much-maligned vegetable you will soon love them even more!

Brussel sprouts are traditionally a winter vegetable, and winter is traditionally when we get colds and flus. This recipe has virus busting garlic and honey and an extra dose of infection-fighting Vitamin C in the lemon zest. The honey and mustard combine to reduce the bitterness of the sprouts. This recipe is enough for a family of 4 as a side dish and will provide one of the 5 recommended daily servings of vegetables per person.

So with no more ado, here’s what you do!



There is no need to cut a cross in the bottom of the sprouts. In theory this makes them cook faster, but what it actually does is make them soggy. Besides sprouts don’t take long to cook. So save yourself some time!

The Ingredients

  • 8 oz/240grams/1 cup Brussel sprouts
  • 2 small or one large leek
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3–4 fluid ozs/90–120ml/⅓ – ½ cup vegetable stock, (or hot water with 2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • zest (rind) of one lemon


  • Peel the sprouts.
  • Slice the leeks.
  • Warm the oil gently in a shallow pan or casserole dish, and then add the honey.
  • Add the leeks and cook over a low heat for 2–3 minutes, until the leeks are softened but not browned.
  • Crush the garlic, add to the leeks and cook for another minute.
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  • Add the Brussel sprouts and the stock and cook for 5 minutes. (This is far less liquid than you would use to boil sprouts and they will not be covered.)
  • Grate the lemon zest with the fine side of your grater.
  • Add lemon zest and mustard and cook for about another 3 or 4 minutes until the sprouts are slightly soft and the liquid has reduced to almost nothing.
  • That’s it! You are ready to eat.

Eat it With

This goes well with sausages (meat or vegetarian) and mash. Or you can use it as a side vegetable with roasts, nut roasts, or any other meal you fancy.


More Ways With Sprouts

Chop them in quarters and use in a stir-fry.

Shred and use in salads.

Or you could try:

Brussel sprout soup.

You’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound or 500gram of Brussel sprouts
  • 1 ¾pints/1 liter of vegetable stock (or a mixture of stock and milk.)
  • A 4 oz/110 gram pack of cooked chestnuts or 4 oz/110 grams of ground almonds, lightly toasted under the grill. (Spread them out evenly and watch them carefully as they burn very quickly.)

And here’s what you do:

  • Chop the onion and in a soup pan fry gently in the oil.
  • Add the Brussel sprouts and stock and cook for about 20 minutes until the sprouts are soft. Add the chestnuts or almonds and warm through.
  • Blend with a hand-held or jug blender until smooth.
  • If necessary add a little more liquid, and heat through.

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© 2012 Yvonne Spence

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