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Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Walnuts. And a full report.

Brussels sprouts with dates and walnuts are so savory and a perfect balance of flavors. We eat this when we want to dress up dinner and share something special at the table.

Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Walnuts, Maureen Abood
I want a full report.

That was one of my dad’s favorite lines. He said it whenever one of his family was off to do something fun and interesting, or something challenging, or something simply…away from him.

He was pretty much of a home body, or more accurately, a home-town body. Travel wasn’t high on his list of comfortable things to do, and he tried to get anyone going anywhere to reconsider if at all possible. I remember one business trip I took to Brazil was particularly agitating for him. He looked me dead in the eye and suggested I had volunteered for the trip and nobody really needed me to go. Just tell them it’s off, he said.

Brussels sprout chop, Maureen Abood
Brussels Sprout saute, Maureen Abood

And since he couldn’t get this or many many other trips cancelled, his parting words included (but of course were far from limited to): I want a full report.

The full report looms large in my own mind anymore, and I think it, if not say it, pretty much daily. When Dan heads out the door for work and we’re in the middle of a conversation about one thing or another, he knows it’s coming: I want a full report. As my sister bounces from here to there and everywhere, she gets a full report request as often as she asks for it herself.

It comes to mind often when I think of you, dear readers. That’s because there are so many full reports I want to receive from you and to share myself, so many places I’ve been for our beloved Lebanese cuisine, and in the end, so little time to make a detailed report.

Lake City, Maureen Abood

There have been Michigan library visits, in celebration of the #Rosewaterbook being named a Michigan Notable Book of the Year (yes!). I’ve been out to small towns with a big turnout for Lebanese cooking—that’s so heartening, to arrive after a long drive to a big crowd of kind, interested people. Also our state has it right: even a small lakeside town with not a lot of what you would call exciting architecture presents its populace with a beautiful new library, center of town (love you, Lake City!).

There have been classes, sold out fast!, in places like Zingerman’s BAKE! in Ann Arbor and upcoming at Stonewall Kitchen in Maine. Thank you for coming and thanks to them for having me! There will be more, I promise—from classes to full reports.

Zingermans, Maureen Abood

There was also a big visit for Lebanese cuisine and the #Rosewaterbook in California. The DAOU brothers invited me there for a union of their world-class wine with Lebanese cuisine.

The DAOU family is from Lebanon, then in one of the many harrowing events of the civil war, they left for France. From there they came to California, all along doing things the Lebanese way: as successful entrepreneurs working together with family at the forefront.

DAOU cork, Maureen Abood
DAOU moonlight, Maureen Abood
DAOU wine, Maureen Abood
Rosewaterbook and DAOU, Maureen Abood

You can taste the family spirit, the passion, in their spectacular cabernet and all of the wines, each one named for one of their family members (Soul of a Lion is named for their babba, of course). When we met the first evening for dinner at Thomas Hill Organics in Paso Robles, Georges Daou gave us a line-up of the restaurant’s specialties with Lebanese flair, including sauteed brussels sprouts with dates and walnuts. Such a Lebanese taste, along with olive oil cake and sesame brittle for dessert.

Georges looked at me again and again in disbelief, because he couldn’t get over how much he thought I looked like their sister, who passed away too young not long ago. I felt I was there to give them a hug from her.

DAOU brothers, Maureen Abood

Okay, this may not be the kind of full full report Dad taught me to give, but rather a snippet, a postcard, from here and there. I think he’d say that the brussels sprouts recipe is good enough to make up for any other missing details, especially if I’d just stay home and not go anywhere now for a good long while.

Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Walnuts 2
Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Walnuts in a blue dish with a silver spoon on the side

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Dates and Walnuts

Maureen Abood
Just a winning combination of flavors that make a great side dish.
Servings 6


  • 16 oz. brussels sprouts
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or substitute lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped


  • Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. Remove the pits and halve the dates.
  • In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts cut-side down, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook until the brussels sprouts are golden brown, adding more olive oil if the pan gets too dry. Stir the brussels sprouts and add the wine or lemon juice to deglaze the pan for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and cook at medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the brussels sprouts are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a serving bowl, combine the brussels sprouts with the dates and walnuts. Serve immediately.


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  1. tootsie on May 13, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Wonderful thanks for the full report. Interesting as always HUGS

  2. Sandy G. on May 13, 2016 at 11:08 AM

    I can’t wait to try this Maureen. Enjoy your travels & hope to see you around town this summer at the farmer’s market 🙂

    • Maureen Abood on May 17, 2016 at 9:30 AM

      Thanks so much Sandy! Hope you’re all doing great!

  3. Gretchen on May 13, 2016 at 1:04 PM

    I loved reading your blog today. When my Lebanese husband comes home at night, the first thing he says is “I want a full report”! Who knew it was cultural? Thanks for your “full report”.

    • Maureen Abood on May 17, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      No way! Love that!

  4. J B on May 13, 2016 at 1:47 PM

    What a lovely recipe and full report!Thank you for sharing.

    • Maureen Abood on May 17, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      Thank you!

  5. Lori on May 13, 2016 at 4:48 PM

    Your description of your dad reminds me of my Lebanese dad. He was also a home body who believed there was no better place on earth than his hometown. He was married to an English woman who passed on to me a sense of wanderllust and love of travel, while he was happiest at home with his family surrounding him. There are some wonderful cultural traits of the Lebanese people and I cherish my heritage. He was a gentle soul and loved by all–including his English wife who loved him so much she learned to make Syrian bread, kibbeh, and all the other favorite dishes that graced our table on Sundays and special holidays (that is, when we weren’t having roast lamb with mint sauce and English peas or roast beef and Yorkshire pudding)! Thanks for all your work on your blog. i enjoy reading and cooking from it!

    • Maureen Abood on May 17, 2016 at 9:29 AM

      What a beautiful family and story! Thanks so much! My dad would have loved that roast beef dinner…

  6. Audrey on May 13, 2016 at 5:56 PM

    I enjoyed your full report! I grew up with dates compressed in a square pack. Please tell us about the different types of dates. I’ve had whole ones which were delicious, but do not know what type they were. A full report please!

    • Maureen Abood on May 17, 2016 at 9:28 AM

      Look for medjool dates. My favorte grocery-store brand is Nature’s Delight. They’re big, tender and so good. Smaller dates are also called medjool but they aren’t as good as the big thicker style that you can get in California.

  7. Vicky Woeste on May 29, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    How funny. My dad also used “I want a full report.” Those two guys clearly spent a lot of time hanging out together . . .

    • Maureen Abood on May 31, 2016 at 10:28 PM

      Love that!

  8. Maureen on April 1, 2021 at 4:30 PM

    Are the whole dates not sliced or chopped in any way? How does everyone get some?

    • Maureen Abood on April 1, 2021 at 4:58 PM

      Sure are, good catch. Halve them! Recipe updated!

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Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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