Brussel Sprout "Toasts" with Ricotta Salata and Asparagus

Brussel sprouts are just the best, aren't they? They're so tasty and versatile. I love using them to reinvent classic dishes in new, veggie-forward ways.

Here, brussel sprouts play a starring role as a replacement for toast. These adorable little "toasts" would be great for a party, a brunch, or a date night. They're a fun spin on the idea of classic party toast appetizers, familiar enough to be nostalgic but different enough to be unexpected.

These toasts highlight some of my favorite spring-appropriate foods: asparagus, lemon, fresh cheese, pistachios, sunflower sprouts, and honey. The vibrant green colors are a perfect way to celebrate the season. If you're fully plant-based, swapping some lemon hummus for the cheese would work great. You could also swap or add in your other favorite super-seasonal spring produce like fiddleheads or ramps.

Cooking the brussel sprouts in a skillet (with a big pour of white wine and a squeeze of lemon!) makes them moist and tender. The succulent sprouts act as a great foil for the fresh cheese, crunchy asparagus, and light sunflower sprouts. Drizzle them with honey for a little pop of unexpected sweetness.

And let's not forget about marinating the cheese! I love using ricotta salata because it's so fresh and salty, and has a great texture. Your favorite feta would work beautifully here too. Either way, letting the cheese marinate in some good olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper for a while adds so much flavor.

Put together a platter of these for a much more interesting (and nutritious!) spin on toasts. You can even prep them in advance, since the brussel sprouts won't get soggy like bread will. Cutest appetizers around!

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram.

Looking for some other fun brussel sprout ideas? Check out my Brussel Sprout Nachos and Brussel Sprout Hash Browns!

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)
  • Ricotta salata. Or feta will work too; cut into squares, with one square per toast.
  • Good olive oil
  • Juice of two lemons, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Brussel sprouts, as big as you can find them. Each will yield two "toasts".
  • White wine. Optional, but adds so much flavor to the sprouts.
  • Asparagus. Assume one or two tips per toast.
  • Sunflower sprouts. Or your favorite spring sprout; I like bigger ones (like sunflower, rather than alfalfa) since they look neater. 
  • Pistachios. Just a handfull, roasted and salted.
  • Honey
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Cut your cheese into squares and lay it on a deep plate or in a container. Drizzle it liberally with olive oil and the juice of one lemon, then add freshly ground pepper. Let it sit and become flavorful while you do the other steps. You could even marinate the cheese overnight in the fridge in a sealed container.
  2. Cut the stems off the brussel sprouts, then cut them in half to yield two symmetrical sides. Lay them all, cut-side down, in a large, oiled skillet.
  3. Cook the brussel sprouts on medium-high heat until the cut sides become browned and caramelized. Check them frequently to avoid burning.
  4. Turn the heat to low, add some white wine, juice of the second lemon, salt, and pepper. Put a lid on the skillet to create a flavorful hot tub for the brussel sprouts. Let them finish cooking in the broth, probably 5-10 minutes, but it will depend on the size of your sprouts. They should be tender but not mushy.
  5. Remove the sprouts from the broth and put them on a rack to cool and release excess moisture.
  6. Cut the tips off the asparagus and poach them in the broth the brussel sprouts just came out of. This will only take a couple minutes; cook them only lightly to keep them bright green and crisp. Keep the asparagus stalks for something else, like a stir fry or omelet.
  7. When the asparagus is finished, assemble your toasts. Put a brussel sprout, cut-side up, as the base. Add a square of cheese and one or two asparagus tips. Get all the toasts prepared and lay them on a serving platter.
  8. Garnish! Add a scattering of sunflower sprouts and a handful of pistachios. Give the whole platter a drizzle of honey and a few more grinds of pepper.
  9. Enjoy! You could prep these up to a couple hours in advance, making them a great party dish.


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