The Food Magazine I Still Miss, and a Versatile Recipe for Brussels Sprouts

Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts-4

For more than 68 years, Gourmet Magazine was an absolute celebration of food, food culture and the folks who’ve earned recognition for their work in the food industry. It was elegant and beautiful, aspirational and lovely. It took readers into the lives and traditions of cooks around the globe, and told stories in vivid detail through powerful prose and breathtaking photos.

I was a devoted reader who devoured every caption, story and side note. And as a young food writer, it was the magazine I held on a pedestal as my ultimate — the one I most wanted to write for some day.

When Conde Nast announced that Gourmet was being shuttered in 2009, I was devastated. It felt like such a loss for readers like myself who appreciated the long-form, in-depth food writing that Gourmet offered.

Gourmet was among 428 magazines to close that year — a peak in closures (by comparison, there were 35 closures in 2015). The recession and the rise of digital media had taken its toll on the industry, and ended the run of so many decades-old favorites.

These days though, it’s heartening to see a resurgence in print media. Magazine launches outpaced closures by more than 3:1 in 2015. Sales of print books rose that year as well, while digital ebooks saw a decline in revenue, according to the Association of American Publishers.

Newer magazines, launched since then, have picked up the mantle of that elegant long-form writing that Gourmet was so good at. And though they are no replacement, they are still nice to read.

Personally speaking, I’ve abandoned the ereader that dominated my reading consumption for several years. I value the tactile tangibility of a book or a magazine. There’s no substitute — for me — for flipping the pages, reading the words and exploring the photos of a story in that form. As for cookbooks, digital ones could never replace printed ones that would, if they were good, bear the stains and splashes of a volume well loved.

I still think about Gourmet now and again, and miss its issues that showed us so many different food traditions. And though this recipe for Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts would probably be too simple for its tastes, it’s one of my food traditions.

These start with thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, which I cut by had (they should be about 1/4-inch thick). They’re sauteed in a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. Then, when they are just tender, you add garlic to the pan to give them a boost of flavor.

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These Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts are a lovely side dish with dinner. But they are also delicious served on top of a baked potato, as a bed for an egg over easy or stuffed in a wrap with chicken and avocado. Really, there’s so many ways to enjoy this easy, simple recipe.

In this time of meal kit delivery services, quick overhead videos of recipes that make them seem so easy and TV chefs battling for culinary domination with baskets of mystery ingredients, it’s good to have a few simple, versatile recipes like this in your repertoire.

Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender -- 8-10 minutes.
  2. Push the Brussels sprouts to the side of the pan and add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute, until softened and then mix into the Brussels sprouts. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Serve, and enjoy.


Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at