Brussels sprouts with chestnuts & smoky olives – Izy Hossack : FOOD

Close-up of pan-roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and smoky olives

For Christmas or Thanksgiving, these crispy, golden Brussels sprouts will always be a favorite.

My mother cooked saut̩ed Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, juniper and bacon in my youth. The mating of sprouts and chestnuts is so classic and with good reason Рthe sweet, creamy chestnuts go perfectly with the earthy sprouts.

A bowl of roasted Brussels sprouts with chestnuts and smoky olives on a table

I fry my sprouts here in the pan to make them golden and caramelized, but still have a bite (NO wet sprouts allowed !!!). Instead of bacon, I opted for a salty olive to balance the sweetness cooked in a smoky, spicy chipotle paste for that almost meaty taste. I like a nocellara olive because of its sweet, buttery taste, but you can also use a more bitter black olive (as I've done here with dried Moroccan olives) or even capers if that's your jam.

Other vegan Thanksgiving recipes:


  • 500 g Brussels sprouts

  • 2 tbsp of refined olive oil

  • Salt-

  • 100 g (heaped 1/2 cup) of cooked, peeled chestnuts

  • 50g (heaped 1/4 cup) your favorite olive, pits removed, roughly torn (see notes)

  • 1 tsp chipotle chili paste (I use Gran Luchito) (see notes)


  1. Cut the bases off the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Remove coarse outer leaves.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan (I like to use cast iron) at medium to low heat. Add the Brussels sprouts in a single layer and cut them sideways. You probably have to cook them in two piles. Let them sit undisturbed until they are golden brown (about 5 minutes). Turn and cook gently (about 5 minutes more). If they are still too crispy, cover with a lid and let them cook for 1-2 minutes at low temperature to soften them. Tip in the serving plate.
  3. Put the pan back on the stove, add the remaining olive oil and cook the rest of the sprouts before putting them in the bowl.
  4. Put the pan back on the stove and add the cooked chestnuts. Boil for about a minute at a high heat to warm up, then sprinkle over the sprouts in the casserole dish.
  5. Bring the pan to the stove. Add the shredded olives and the chipotle paste and cook with constant stirring until covered and hot. Sprinkle over the sprouts in the casserole dish and serve.


– For olives, I like nocellara olives very much as they are juicy, sweet and buttery. If you prefer something deeper, try "dried" olives – these usually come in a glass without salt / oil and look slightly wrinkled. They have a bitter taste and a tougher texture.

– An alternative to chili paste is 1 tsp of smoked paprika.

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