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Pickled Brussels Sprouts

posted by Matt Pierce on November 10, 2010

I wasn’t intending for my next article to be about Brussels sprouts. Sure, I think they are great, but really, my recipe is super easy and not blog-worthy. Though, upon mentioning that I was harvesting some from my garden, Anna requested I blog about them. Not sure if she was being serious, or just trying to keep me motivated... but here it is.


  • About 4 cups tiny, baby Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons course salt
  • few sprigs of dill
  • few pinches of peppercorns
  • 1/2 garlic clove for each jar


  • half-pint mason jars and lids
  • large pot for boiling jars
  • two medium sauce pans
  • bowl of icewater
  • jar tongs
  • knife
  • cutting board

I planted about eight stalks of Brussels spouts many months ago, and I finally took a harvest today. Boiled some up, had them for lunch and they were great. After realizing I could make an article of this subject, I figured I should try a little harder. Cooking them is easy... but in the rare case you don’t want your home to smell like farts, how else can you prepare these little cabbages?

Pickled baby Brussels sprouts! I’ve been wanting to pickle some things for a while now. That was actually the major motivation in tending my garden, but the season was late and short, and I only grew a couple tiny cucumbers and a handful of peppers. The one thing that blew up was the sprouts... and I have lots of young ones that aren’t going to grow before it gets cold, so let’s pickle’em. You can snack on them, garnish your Bloody Mary, maybe your Dirty Martini?

First thing is to clean and prep things. Peel off the sprouts’ loose leaves and cut off the stems (Half or quarter them if you’re using full-sized sprouts). Clean your garlic and rinse your dill. I had three pots on the stove - a large pot to sterilize and boil my jars, a medium one to create the brine, and a smaller one to blanch the sprouts. Boil your jars for about 15 minutes - which can be stared while you are prepping things. It helps tremendously to have proper jar tongs, because they will be slippery and very hot.

In the medium pot, add your vinegar, water and salt, and bring to a boil. In the other third pot, boil some water and blanch your sprouts, for only about 2 minutes, then pull them out and submerge them in some icy water to cool.

Once your jars are ready, add the seasonings, your sprouts, then using a funnel - pour your brine to about a half inch from the top. Carefully (because the jars will be HOT), screw on the lids tightly and then re-submerge in the large boiling pot of water. Boiling will allow the lid will seal, giving you that popping sound when you re-open later. Boil for about ten minutes, then cool and store in a dark place. Sprouts will be ready in about fourteen days!