Brussels Sprouts with Sausage and Cumin (Food and Wine, January 2015)

Brussels Sprouts with Sausage and Cumin

This dish doesn’t have a pretty face, but it has a beautiful soul

Soooooo sometimes I get on kicks, where I can’t get enough of eating the same thing over and over because it is just SO DELICIOUS. Like, every 10 years or so I go on a chicken tenders kick.  You might be thinking this means “oh, she ate chicken fingers a lot for a few months.” NO. Every night, every SINGLE night for two weeks, I would come home from work and soak chicken tenders in buttermilk then batter them and fry them and they were SO FREAKING GOOD. I have gone on two chicken finger/tender kicks in my life (one was at age eight and one was at age 21) and both of them ended the same way: I ordered them at a restaurant and they were greasy and soggy and terrible and then I was done.

I might be going on a sort of kick with this AMAZING dish, which I have now made once a week for three weeks and will probably make again this week. It’s so fast and delicious! This recipe is pan-caramelized brussels sprouts, crumbled spicy sausage, and Middle Eastern spices, and it’s AWESOME.

The recipe in the magazine says TWELVE MINUTES. So many other recipes say “Thirty minutes!” but then after thirty minutes you realize you’re still chopping vegetables and haven’t even gotten close to having the meat cooked all the way through. This is not like that at all. It really takes about 12 minutes, making this the most wonderful meal for a weeknight.

Here’s how you do it! The recipe doesn’t call for rice, but I really recommend serving this with brown rice for heft, since it’s a fairly light meal. So start your rice, then slice your brussels sprouts in half and clean up any brown leaves. Cook them in olive oil in a hot pan until golden, about four minutes.

Now we add sausage. I’ve both used homemade “sausage,” seasoned ground pork rolled into a sausage shape, and sweet Italian sausage. I preferred the homemade sausage, or spicy sausage. If you do buy it from the store, remove the casings before adding to the pan so it appropriately crumbles. All that’s left from here is to add the sausage, cumin, and oregano to the pan, let it cook, then add orange juice and a dash of honey.

Then you eat it, wish there was more, and make it again the very next week.

Brussel Sprouts with Sausage and Cumin

Pictured: the first time I made this. AND FAR FROM THE LAST.

Brussels Sprouts with Sausage and Cumin

(Food and Wine, January 2015)

Recipe by Ana Sortun

Serves 2


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 14 brussels sprouts (10 ounces), trimmed and halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 6 ounces sweet Italian sausage (2 links), casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring once, until golden, 4 minutes. Add the sausage, oregano and cumin. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are caramelized and tender and the sausage is cooked through, 3 minutes longer. Stir in the orange juice and honey to coat the sprouts. Transfer to plates and serve warm.