Making Vegetables Tasty – And A Great Recipe!


I’ve written in this space about the importance of attention to taste and flavor in getting kids to eat a wide variety of foods.  That especially applies to vegetables, which too often are presented to kids in a bland form, maybe just steamed or boiled in water.  It’s easy to overcook them in this way, making the texture too mushy, and the sharp natural taste of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and spinach is too strong for some children.

Don’t be afraid to serve your kids – even the little ones – all of these vegetables, prepared the way you like to eat them.  That may mean sautéed or grilled in olive oil and garlic, properly seasoned with salt and pepper, or flavored with fresh herbs or chicken stock.  This is not the same thing as smothering vegetables in a cheese sauce or ranch dressing, which merely masks the natural flavor.

As I take the week off to recover from a fun holiday weekend, I’m sharing an easy recipe for Brussels sprouts slaw that was a hit at my Thanksgiving table with everyone, including my 3 year old!  This is a good way to introduce kids to a new vegetable like Brussels sprouts, in a way that everyone will enjoy.  This slaw will be making many appearances on my dinner menus, throughout the winter months.

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing


¼ cup Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed

In small bowl, whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice and sugar.  Whisk in oil.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Bring large pot of water to boil; add one tablespoon salt.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes.  (Do not overcook!) Drain and rinse with cold water.  Cool.

Place Brussels sprouts in food processor and chop until coarse.  Transfer to large bowl and toss with dressing.

Optional:  In small bowl, combine ¼ cup maple syrup, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.  Toss 1 cup pecan halves in syrup, to coat.  Spread in single layer on sheet of aluminum foil and bake 5 minutes at 325 F. Separate and cool.  Stir nuts into slaw.

From the November, 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine.

One Response to “Making Vegetables Tasty – And A Great Recipe!”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Sounds yummy! I will definitely put this on our menu!

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