Brussel sprouts get a bad rap. When you mention the vegetable, some people give you a look like you asked them to eat a plate full of mud. My mom is one of those people. She hates brussel sprouts. Which meant growing up we never ate them. When my love and I moved to Boston, we signed up for a CSA. The box would come every Tuesday and held surprises of the season. One Tuesday, the box held brussel sprouts. I had no idea what to do with them.
My love showed me a recipe with sautéed brussel sprouts and honey. You blanch the brussel sprouts whole then drain and pat dry. Heat a saute pan to high heat and add a small amount of olive oil. Throw the brussel sprouts in and sear until the outer layers get crispy, about 2-3 minutes. During the last 30 seconds add a fair amount of honey and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. This sweet, salty treat will made me a believer.
The second recipe that deepened my love affair was one my sister-in-law shared with me. Roasted brussel sprouts are like popcorn. I have to admit I have downed an entire bowl in a sitting. Lightly coat the brussel sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You can use other seasonings like cumin or turmeric as well. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 30-45 minutes depending on the size of the brussel sprouts. You want them to be tender in the middle but crispy on the outside.
My final confirmation of my brussel sprout love came yesterday, with a shaved brussel sprout salad.
Brussel Sprout Salad:
7 large brussel sprouts
5-10 small cherry tomatoes
2 slices of pork belly or bacon strips
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t basil
Finally chop the brussel sprouts, you can also use a mandolin. Set aside.
Chop the pork belly or bacon and heat in a saute pan until the fat is rendered out and the pork belly is crispy. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the cherry tomatoes into the hot fat and blister. Remove from the pan and toss with the chopped basil. Wipe out the pan and place back on the burner.
Add about 1 T of water and heat in the pan. You want it to start to steam. You are looking to steam the brussel sprouts. Add brussel sprouts to a pan and stir. You may need to add more water. You don’t want the water to pool at the bottom but you want enough so the brussel sprouts do not burn. They should turn a vibrant green! Right before you remove from the heat add the balsamic vinegar.
Mix with tomatoes and pork belly and season will salt and pepper. Enjoy!