Recipe Flash: Alta Brussels Sprouts & Other Holiday Vegetables

HOLIDAY DINNER PARTY MENU: Red Wine Braised Short Ribs; Butternut Squash & White Bean Puree with Bacon-Sage Croutons; Alta Brussels Sprouts; Pear Almond Tart

For a month or so this fall, my friend Sophie started having Monday night Gossip Girl and Brussels Sprouts dates with our friend Mark. I’m not sure why they decided those two joys needed to go together—perhaps to analyze the misunderstood Manhattanites along with the misunderstood vegetable? They would cook other things too, mind you, but the centerpiece of their meal was always some delicious variety of sprouts.

When I heard about this tradition (after I got over the fact that I was not involved in it), I asked Sophie about her range of preparations. She told me that her favorite was an experiment to recreate the Brussels Sprouts at Alta restaurant, where they roast the vegetables until they’re nice and crispy, then toss them with a balsamic-honey reduction, sliced gala apples, and pistachios. To make the end result all the more decadent and stunning at the restaurant, they top each mound with a healthy dollop of crème fraiche, which seeps into each sprout as you dig in. Hearing this made me all the more jealous.

So with a little push in the right direction from Sophie, and some help from Alexandra’s Kitchen, who also attempted the famed Alta sprouts, I sat down to an evening of Gossip Girl, green vegetables, and a little wine to tie the two together. These sprouts are also great for nights with other humans instead of TV–so below for other vegetable preparations that are festive and fabulous for parties this time of year.

From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,


Oh, and Happy Birthday, Soph!


Alta Brussels Sprouts with Apple, Pistachios, & Crème Fraiche

Makes 2 servings
Adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen


10 oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 Fuji Apple, unpeeled and thinly sliced
1 large dollop of crème fraiche

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

On a cookie sheet, toss the sprouts together with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, redistributing once or twice, until properly brown and crispy.

In the meantime, in a small saucepan, stir together the balsamic and honey over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Let bubble for two minutes or so, until the mixture is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and pour over the apples, pistachios, and sprouts. Toss together, taste for seasoning, and serve immediately with a generous dollop of crème fraiche.

**Other Holiday Vegetables**
Some other ideas for incorporating vegetables onto your holiday table:
Posted in: Recipe Flash
  • The Waspy Redhead

    I adore brussels sprouts, thanks for the recipe. Happy Holidays!

  • Sara

    I just tried brussel sprouts for the first time over Thanksgiving…I made them with chicken stock, shallots, and bacon bits. This recipe sounds amazing – I never would have thought to combine brussel sprouts and apples!

  • Alexis

    I love the Alta sprouts. Will have to try this recipe. Thanks!

  • Unplanned Cooking

    Always nice to pair food with a good show :). Although I have to say, I'm not as into gossip girl now that the characters have moved onto college. I think it's Blair that's throwing me off. I hope they more her character out of that high school mindset.

  • Sarah

    Thank you for this recipe! My boyfriend said he wanted to try making Alta style Brussels sprouts on New Year's Eve, so I googled "brussels sprouts pistachios apple" and lo and behold, your recipe came up first. They were easy to make and so tasty.

  • Michael Krauss

    This sounds great but in the picture I see Pecans not Pistachios

  • Kenneth Ashe

    Alta’s Brussel Sprouts are great!

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