How to Shred Brussels Sprouts

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Elevate the humble Brussels sprout from a much-maligned vegetable to a tender and elegant side dish. Shredding these tiny cabbages creates delicate ribbons with mellower flavor. Additionally, the smaller surface area of the sprouts reduces the time it takes to cook them while making it feasible to use them raw in a salad. To shred Brussels, you have three main methods to choose from, including using a knife, a grater or a food processor.

Prepping Brussels Sprouts

For sweeter sprouts, select small Brussels with compacted, hard heads. Larger sprouts can also be used, but they typically have a stronger cabbage flavor. Before shredding them. first add the Brussels sprouts to a colander or a strainer and rinse them thoroughly. Trim the woody stem end from the bottom of each sprout and remove any damaged outer leaves. Halve large sprouts lengthwise, or leave smaller sprouts whole.

Shredding Methods

Using a food processor gets the job done relatively quickly, but you can also achieve great results using a grater or by slicing the Brussels thinly using a knife.

Using the Food Processor

To make fast-- and nearly effortless -- work out of your sprouts, let your food processor do the shredding for you. This is particularly helpful if you're cooking a large batch, but it works equally well whether you're shredding 1/2 pound or 3 pounds of Brussels sprouts. Put the slicing disk into the bowl of your food processor. Add the sprouts, whole or halved lengthwise, and process them. If you're shredding a large volume, you may need to work in batches.

Using a Clean, Sharp Knife

No food processor? No problem. You can easily shred your sprouts using a low-tech method that only requires a clean cutting board and a good, sharp knife. Start by halving the sprouts lengthwise. Then, turn the sprouts so the cut side faces down, and slice them crosswise, making thin cuts from the stem end to the top. Use your fingers to loosen the layers and transfer the shredded Brussels into a bowl.

Shredding With a Box Grater

Another low-tech way to shred the Brussels sprouts is to pull out your trusty box grater. These multipurpose kitchen tools typically have four sides, each with a different hole size. Choose the side with the large holes and lightly coat the exterior with cooking spray so that the sprouts glide against the plate as you shred them. Run each sprout down the plate, moving from top to bottom against the sharp, grating holes. Watch your fingers and knuckles as you go to avoid accidentally nicking yourself.

Serving Ideas

Use them raw, sauteed or roasted -- shredded Brussels sprouts lend themselves well to a variety of preparations including the following:

  • Shredded Brussels sprouts salad, a simple and flavorful alternative to traditional tossed salads. Combine the thin shreds with a simple dressing made from lemon juice and olive oil. Season it with salt and pepper and toss a little crumbled or shaved cheese into the salad. 
  • Roasting shredded Brussels sprouts, a technique that enhances the natural sweet, nutty flavor. Combine the shreds with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roast them for approximately 30 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sauteing shredded Brussels, which creates tenderness and flavor without heating up the oven. Pair the veggies with simple flavors of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and crushed red pepper for a flavor-packed dish. Saute the sprouts over medium-low heat for approximately 20 minutes or until they are tender.
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