Ina Garten's Tip For The Most Vibrant Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Maybe you were raised by a mom who hated Brussels sprouts. She might have tried to connect with your toddler brain by grinning, "Oh, no! Not the green balls for dinner?" (Way to go, Mom, for limiting the kiddo's palate!) Or maybe your mom loved them and threw them into every dish she could think of. Seeing as they're loaded with potassium, Vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and even protein, she might've hoped that if she could get you to like them early on, you'd be more likely to explore other nutrient-packed vegetables.

Ina Garten can relate. Her mom didn't necessarily scorn Brussels sprouts, but she still missed the mark. Looking straight into the camera on a Barefoot Contessa tutorial, Garten says, "Sorry, Mom!" while explaining that her mom used to boil the sprouts whole: "They were just dreadful." So when Garten opened her East Hampton store in the '80s, she roasted the sprouts instead. She remembers that nobody could believe how "crisp and delicious" they were.

But roasting Brussels sprouts takes time that you may not actually have in the kitchen. If that's you, Garten suggests shredding them for a quick sauté. To make them extra appealing, Garten shares her tip to bring out the most vibrant side of Brussels sprouts that even a toddler can get behind.

Use the leaves for a brighter splash of color

The Barefoot Contessa's sautéed Brussels sprouts recipe includes just four ingredients: Brussels sprouts, olive oil, butter, and Balsamic vinegar. By prepping everything in advance, Ina Garten explains that it's just a seven-minute sauté before dinner. If you slice them thinly in a food processor using the slicing disc, it's even more of a time saver — just remember to trim the sprouts' ends before doing so.

While she's sautéeing the sprouts in a large pan, she notes that you don't even have to cook them if you prefer making slaw out of the sliced sprouts. But regardless of your choice of preparation, she notes that to get the most vibrant Brussels sprouts for your dish, make sure you also slice the sprouts' leaves for an extra burst of color.

As the camera focuses on her pan that's filled with varying shades of green, she adds that using a white plate for serving will show off your new favorite side dish best. (The white-and-bright-green contrast certainly looks more appetizing than the dull, bitter sprouts of childhood nightmares past.) Finishing the plated Brussels sprouts with an extra pinch of salt and a drizzle of balsamic, Garten smiles. "How good does that look? This isn't your Grandmother's Brussels sprouts. This is a new age of Brussels sprouts."