Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Kumquats Recipe

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Kumquats Recipe
Staff Writer

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The bright and tangy flavor of kumquats is transformed in a syrup and tempered by the sweetness of Medjool dates in this innovative recipe for Brussels sprouts from chef Walter Manzke, who worked at the critically acclaimed French restaurant Church and State in Los Angeles. — Will Budiaman

Click here to see Chefs' Favorite Winter Recipes.


  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 24 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and tough outer leaves removed
  • 6 kumquats, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 sugar
  • Juice of one orange
  • 1 sherry vinegar
  • 2 unsalted butter
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 2 thyme
  • 6 Medjool dates, halved and pitted
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of chile flakes


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Add the sprouts and cook until tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife, about 5-6 minutes. Drain and plunge into the ice water bath. When the sprouts are cold, remove and drain on a kitchen towel.

Place the kumquats in a small saucepot with about 2 cups cold water. Bring rapidly to a boil over high heat, then drain and rinse. Repeat 2 more times. After the third time, add the sugar, orange juice and sherry vinegar to the pot with the blanched kumquats. Slowly simmer until the liquid has reduced to a syrup.

Add the butter to an 8-inch sauté pan. Heat slowly until the butter is lightly browned. Add the Brussels sprouts, the bay leaf, thyme, garlic, and chile flakes to the pan. Sauté until the sprouts are golden brown.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the kumquats and dates. Sauté for 1 more minute. Remove and discard the garlic, bay leaf, and thyme. Serve.

Caramel Shopping Tip

There are so many varieties of chocolate on the shelves today it can be overwhelming to pick one – as a general rule of thumb, the fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate.

Caramel Cooking Tip

Think beyond cakes and pies – fruits like peaches, pineapple, and figs are excellent grilled – brush with melted butter or wine and sprinkle with sugar and spices for a dessert that you can feel good about.