How do I easily peel apart individual brussels sprout leaves? I had a dish in a restaurant a few weeks ago that was individual brussells sprout leaves peels off the head and sautéd -- it was delicious. I made it at home and it was great, but sitting there peeling the leaves off one by one was tedious! Any shortcuts? (Oh, and imagine my surprise, it's 'brusselS sprouts', not brussel sprouts'.

  • Posted by: Peter
  • November 6, 2010


Amanda J. March 11, 2019
I just went to a great restaurant and had peeled brussel sprouts and found this very helpful. I sauteed a half an onion in balsamic vinegar and then added broth and mustard and they were great.
CaryNC November 10, 2010
I was going to suggest exactly what Abra said. I know it works because if I cut a bit too much of the stem off all the leaves just start falling off.
JSCooks November 7, 2010
The easiest way is to pull of the outer few leaves that come off easily, then cut a small slice off the stem end to loosen a few more, then continue trimming the end and pulling off leaves until you have only a very compact core left. Use the leaves as you wish, and then saute or roast the cores in butter or olive oil with a little salt and aleppo (or other crushed red) pepper. Enjoy!
luvcookbooks November 7, 2010
Cut them in half lengthwise (like onions) and then slice into ribbons (ditto). Do this for the excellent Union Square Cafe Brussels Sprout Hash. The Sprout must hail from Brussels, don't you think?
Abra B. November 6, 2010
Take a large whack across the bottom (stem) end with a sharp knife. If you cut 1/4" or so, all the leaves will come loose, especially if you ruffle them a bit with your fingertips. Yes, you waste a bit, but it makes a nice effect.
mrslarkin November 6, 2010
Just tried this out on a few of my Brussels sprouts, and it seemed to work well enough:

Trim and cut out the stem as best you can with a paring knife. Then with your palm, smoosh the head down like a head of iceberg lettuce, which should loosen it up and enable you to separate the leaves a bit more easily. You might still have some tight inner solid nuggets of sprouts, though, which will provide a nice crunch factor to your dish.

Good luck!
pierino November 6, 2010
It won't look the same, but you could begin by prepping as Mr V suggested but then lay them flat and VERY thinly slice them across the grain. I sautee them in butter to begin, just to color, then add a small amount of water and cover with a lid so that the action changes from sauteeing to steaming. Finish with a spritz or two of tarragon vinegar.
innoabrd November 6, 2010
serfs. They do make that tedious work seem to just disappear...
Mr_Vittles November 6, 2010
Peel off the first few tough leaves and then your good to go. I usually cut them in half and cut a "v" out of the tough root bit. I usually saute them in olive oil and bacon fat until they are a deep caramelized brown. Ohh yeah!
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