For the Gentle Readers who have used less than gentle language in regards to our next guest vegetable, The Practical Cook forgives you. The Brussels sprout has to be one of the most maligned of veggies, right next to okra, which she also adores. It is time to stop fighting and give them another chance.
Brussels Sprout Recipe for Haters, Two Ways
This recipe is adapted from the brilliant Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything. Because his veggie option involved hazelnuts, I had to intervene. Note that this recipe has so few ingredients that you’ll want to use the best of everything for it: do not try to mask bad balsamic here. I recommend Brussels on the stalk if you can find them (I have been foiled so far this year). Not only are they fun to remove, but you can use the stalk as a weapon when you’re done.
olive oil or bacon fat
1 pound Brussels sprouts, hard tip removed and sliced thin (food processor, mandoline, or sharp knife)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or parsley (optional)
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans or crispy bacon bits
1. Heat the fat of choice in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and saute for a minute. Lower the heat to medium, add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook for 5 minutes, without stirring or peeking.
2. When the spouts are almost tender, take the lid off, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the water evaporates and the sprouts char a bit, another 5 minutes or so.
3. Stir in the balsamic, toss quickly, and remove from heat. Add pecans or bacon and optional herbs, taste for seasoning. Serve, and watch the looks of disbelief. (Note: If you are reheating and serving later, add a splash of balsamic and parsley after reheating to add zing at the last minute.)
Are you a fan of the sprout? Are you a hater waiting to be converted? (And I’ll know if you’re telling the truth, I get more Brussels insults than any other!) Post a comment below, or Tweet with #thanksgivingrecipes as the hashtag.
Send your questions, blog ideas, and spare sprouts to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)
Tomorrow, 5 Things to be Thankful For (yeah, I’m dangling my preposition, live with it!)