Lime-Ginger Butter Adds Pizzazz

Cool weather season is always a good excuse to try as many Brussels sprout recipes as possible, at least in our line of thinking. And we came across the Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Lime-Ginger Butter recipe in the Fine Cooking Make-It-Tonight series. Here, lime and ginger brighten the deeply nutty character of well-browned Brussels sprouts and silky leeks in a very good way.

I know, you don’t like Brussels sprouts, right? They really deserve to be featured on dinner plates more often than they usually are. The unfortunate fate of many Brussels sprouts is overcooking, which is why so many people have unpleasant childhood memories of a nasty, sulfurous odor emanating from the stove.

So even if you’ve had a bad experience with them in the past (I mean, who didn’t?), they’re worth giving another shot because they are low in calories and high in nutrients. Brussels sprouts are a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which also includes the nutritional powerhouses kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and collard greens, all of which supply loads of nutrients for a small amount calories. If you are trying to improve your diet, cruciferous vegetables should be at the very top of your grocery list.

And guess what? When combined with whole grains, Brussels sprouts make a complete protein. That means they’re a great option for vegetarian meals. Plus for the guys, Brussels sprouts are also said to increase male virility.

The time factor for this recipe is a pretty quick turn around for both chopping and cooking, so it makes for a plausible weeknight side dish, as well as for more formal affairs. We paired it with delicious Whole Braised Chicken with Rosemary and Pears, and what a dynamic duo they made!

Cut the leeks into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, rings separated and washed well but not dried.

After the leeks are cut into rings, Russ quarters our extra-large sprouts.

Push the vegetables back into a single layer so that most have direct contact with the pan, until the leeks are limp and the sprouts are well browned.


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 medium lime, finely grated to yield 1 tsp. zest and squeezed to yield 1 Tbs. juice
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, and quartered lengthwise if large, halved if small
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, rings separated and washed well but not dried


  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the milk solids turn light brown, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, add the lime zest and juice, and swirl to combine.
  2. Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and 1 tsp. salt; toss well to coat with oil.
  3. Cover the pan with the lid ajar by about 1 inch. Turn the heat down to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts start to brown, 8 to 12 minutes. As the mixture cooks, you should hear a gentle sizzle.
  4. Uncover, turn the heat down to low, add the leeks (with any water still clinging to them) and cook, stirring occasionally and then pushing the vegetables back into a single layer so that most have direct contact with the pan, until the leeks are limp and the sprouts are well browned, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the butter mixture over the sprouts and leeks and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan and tossing well to coat. Season to taste with salt. Serve right away or let sit off the heat, partially covered, until ready to serve, and then reheat gently over medium-low heat.

By Susie Middleton from Fine Cooking

The Brussels sprouts accompanied the braised chicken and pears entrée.

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