Brussels Sprouts with Marsala Lime Dressing
Brussels Sprouts with Marsala Lime Dressing

Brussels Sprouts with Marsala Lime Dressing

While shopping for Christmas gifts last year we took our annual trip to the 5th Avenue Mall. Yup, you heard right, annual. As much as I would love to go on a mini rant about the fact that the shopping ‘situation’ in America is completely blown out of proportion, and don’t get me started on the ridiculousness that is “Christmas” as we know it, I’ll spare your eyes and hears. Let’s just say that we find more and more that there is absolutely NOTHING we need to go to the mall for. Tons of junk, even more utter garbage, and entire industries that I do not want to give even the slightest bit of support to… but this year I did take a little time to explore the Oil and Vinegar shop and dote on myself. I purchased a small jar of fig balsamic cream vinegar and pistachio oil, neither of which I have really used, and one of Riesling Lime oil, that I have actually used, and quite a lot!

When I came up with this recipe in fact, I started with the Riesling Lime oil, carefully pairing it side-by-side under my nose with the various cooking wines I had on hand. That is how the Marsala was chosen; it just ‘smelled right.’

Now, I have to be honest that I was hesitant to even post this, one my most favorite, recipes. When creating recipes for our viewers I strive to work from scratch, versus using pre-made, purchased, herb or spice blends. How can I expect the average person to have the Vindaloo seasoning specifically from Penzy Spices, and the Chena Blend from Summit Spice in Anchorage? If I’m going to make a recipe using the Syrian Za’atar Mix from World Spice Merchants in Seattle, I need to be sure that our viewers will be able to make it from scratch in their own kitchen. It isn’t that these are expensive or hard to come by, you simply can’t expect everyone to have any specific ‘brand name’ of herb or spice.

Perhaps it was that my newfound treasures were so precious to me, but I assumed they were ingredients that might be hard to come by. As it turns out, yes, Oil and Vinegar sells it in their stores, (now in 15 states), but also online, and so does AprèsVin in Washington.

In reality, I’m essentially just working with a lime infused grapeseed oil. I suppose that someone could swap it out for a lemon grapeseed oil, which I believe to be more easily found. But we all know that lemon and lime are different flavors.

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My mom makes her own lemon infused grapeseed oil by adding 5 drops of lemon essential oil to a 16 ounce bottle, and adjusting from there. I imagine it would be just as easy to use lime essential oil. (And I’m pretty sure that we all know someone who sells doTERRA. – They tend to make themselves known. )

So the other part of this recipe is the original use of brussels sprout leaves. Note: LEAVES

Why does everyone insist on serving brussels sprouts whole or even simply halved? Now I like cabbage as much as a the next guy, (okay, probably more) but who wants a giant, dense, wad of soggy leaves squishing around in their mouth?! If you ever want to get your kids (or your husband for that matter!) to eat brussels sprouts, please, for the love of their taste buds, separate your brussels sprout bundles!

Simply trim off the nub at the bottom and remove any leaves that come off easily. Halve the more dense remaining head and cut a V-shaped groove to trim out the stem of each halve. You will now be able to pull off more leaves, however there will probably still be a small clump of tiny unseparated leaves in the vary center, but by now it will be so small that it won’t be unpleasant to eat.

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I know what you are thinking, “That sure seems like a lot of work!” Well it does take a little time, but it’s quite easy prep. In fact, in the making of this meal the first time I was trying to get dinner cooked while still watching several daycare children. I simple took one halved and trimmed head in my hand at a time and walked around supervising and interacting while pulling the leaves apart into my hand. I’d then go back and exchange the separated leaves for another clump and begin again. It is just as easy to have your children help. It reigns true that when kids help cook they tend to like the food better.

Although I originally created this dish for brussels sprouts, it is also great over other lightly steamed greens or vegetables, and could be used as a simmering sauce for beef or chicken. The lime pairs great with Mexican. <—Think street tacos. Lastly I am definitely going to suggest it for poaching white fish.

So I apologize for the work that it may take to track down some Riesling Lime Oil for yourself, but I think you will find it WELL worth it. It tastes great and can be used in a lot of ways, but if you don’t have the time, or really just don’t want to, I exchanged lime juice for an optional way to make this dressing, and wrote it into the recipe below.

Marsala Lime Dressing

By:semiserious chefs
Serves: 4-6


  • 1 cup Marsala cooking wine
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t Riesling Lime oil (or more to taste)
    • OR 1/2 t grapeseed oil and 1 t lime juice*
  • 1 t red wine vinegar

*This was originally created specifically around the Riesling Lime oil. Swapping it for lime juice may work on paper, but the flavors created really are very different.


  1. Add the wine, sugar, salt, oil, and vinegar to a sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. This will aromatize the wine and allow for the slightest reduction.
  2. Serve either warm or cold over fresh or lightly steamed greens, or salad. It can also be used to dress sandwiches.


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