All About Brussels Sprouts, Giolitti Deli’s Ingredient of the Week

Brussels sprouts on a table

Brussels sprouts are in peak season now and taste great when cooked in a variety of ways.

This week, Giolitti Deli is featuring Brussels sprouts in our pasta and salad specials to celebrate the darling of the fall veggies. If you are not convinced that you love Brussels sprouts yet, use our introductory guide to get acquainted and discover the many delicious ways you can eat them. As a bonus, we’ve included a recipe for Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad that you can make at home or enjoy a variation of during your next visit to Giolitti Deli. 

A Brief History of Brussels Sprouts

The ancestor of Brussels sprouts is believed to have grown in Ancient Rome. The vegetable, as we know it today, gained popularity in Brussels, Belgium, which gave the plant its new name. The veggies are now widely popular in the United States and Europe, with the Netherlands being the largest producer of these mini veggies. 

How to Select The Best Brussels Sprouts

The smaller the Brussels sprouts are, the more sweet and delicious they will be. Look for blemish-free sprouts that are about the same size to guarantee that your batch will be evenly cooked. The peak season for Brussels sprouts is September through March. 

How to Store Your Sprouts

If you need to store your Brussels sprouts before cooking them, first remove damaged outer leaves and then place the sprouts in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge. If you can purchase them on a stalk, they will stay fresh longer if stored this way. Otherwise, be sure to eat the sprouts within a few weeks, or the flavor will be less tasty and more bitter. 

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Before cooking, remove the outer leaves and trim the beach of each sprout. Cut a small X in the base of larger Brussels sprouts to help them cook evenly. There are a few ways to cook Brussels sprouts: 


Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the sprouts to a steam basket and cook for about seven minutes. Season with salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice. 


Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and add a clove of minced garlic before tossing in your halved Brussels sprouts. Stir for about 10 minutes, until the sprouts are lightly browned. Season with salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice. 


Combine halved Brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt and pepper, minced garlic, a dash of lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Spread the sprouts onto a baking sheet and roast about 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Make Your Own Brussels Sprouts Dish

Giolitti Deli’s pasta special this week includes penne pasta mixed with roasted sprouts, bacon, crushed red pepper, and pecorino Romano cheese. Our Brussels sprouts salad is the same as the recipe below, with everything except the apples. 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad


1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tbl fresh lemon juice

2 Tbl apple cider vinegar

2 Tbl pure maple syrup

1 Tbl Dijon mustard

1 clove minced garlic

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Whisk all ingredients together or use a blender or immersion blender. Set aside


1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and sprouts shaved or sliced very thinly

1 tart apple, diced (Honeycrisp is delicious in this salad)

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper

1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese

Kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

Combine salad ingredients and add dressing to taste. Place on a bed of mixed greens or your favorite lettuce.

Authentic Italian Cuisine From Giolitti Deli

Giolitti Deli is a full-service Delicatessen in Annapolis, MD, specializing in authentic Italian cuisine. Founded in 1992, we use the freshest ingredients to make time-honed recipes from scratch, with no MSG or preservatives. We believe in real food and offer many healthy options, including vegetarian and vegan menu items. At Giolitti Deli, we make our own sauces, mozzarella, grilled and roasted vegetables, bread, pizza dough, and desserts, and our sandwiches, salads, pasta, pizza, and entrees are made to order. Owner Mary Giolitti has combined her passion for great food and fine wine to offer Annapolis a true taste of Italy!

Team members who also make the business possible include Manager Kathy Hunter, Manager and Catering Director Cheryl Molesky, Head Baker Porfirio Diaz, Chef Alfredo Escobar, and Deli Manager Noe Merino. To contact us, please visit our contact page or give us a call at 410.266.8600. Also, be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and our blog!

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