You don’t have to be a fan of Brussels sprouts to like this dish!
When I was a child, Brussels sprouts were not my favorite, and I could tell we were having them for dinner the second I walked in the house. The aroma that permeated the house, cooking them to death, and serving them rather naked did not make for an appetizing dish!
Quick cooking is the secret
Generally, I make Brussels sprouts simply, sliced in half with a quick sauté in olive oil with a bit of minced garlic or anchovy. I found the first sprouts of the year at the farmstead recently, and decided I might like to make them a little special to celebrate the season.
A great combination of soft, crispy, sweet, and sour
This dish has everything going for it: caramelized bits of sprouts, a little sweet from the apple and maple syrup and a little tang from the vinegar. It is also a great dish because everything in it except the olive oil and pine nuts are grown locally! Look for Italian pine nuts, and make sure you see the source on the packaging; there are a lot of pine nuts from China on the shelves these days, and the quality control on these is suspect at best.
Best of all, they are not over-cooked, grey, and mushy!
Sweet & Sour Brussels Sprouts
- 1 ½ lbs. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed
- 1 large onion
- 2 cups diced turnip
- 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves
- 1 large apple, cored and diced about sprout size
- 3 tbsp. cider vinegar, divided
- 2 tbsp. dark amber maple syrup (the real stuff please!)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp. Italian pine nuts, or hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp. bread crumbs
The prep: Remove any brown leaves from the Brussels sprouts and trim the stem end to remove any darkening. Slice each in half lengthwise, keeping the end in tact so it will stay together.
Dice onion and turnip. Core the apple (leave peeling on) and dice in approximate Brussels sprouts size. Finely mince the sage leaves.
Heat the Pinenuts and breadcrumbs in a dry skillet and toast over high for about five minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Do not walk away from this or they will burn. The mixture should have some color and a lovely fragrance. Set aside.
The cook: In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil until shimmering over medium high heat and add the butter and onion. Sauté for a minute just to soften a bit, then add the sprouts, cut side down. Cook for about five minutes, just until they start to caramelize on the cut side, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, turnip and minced sage. Stir around for a minute or two, cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook five minutes, until the vegetables have softened but are not quite done.
Add the apples, 2 tbsp. of the vinegar, maple syrup, and a little salt and pepper. Continue cooking for five minutes, or until everything is just about done. Add the sprouts back to the pan.
Add the last tablespoon of vinegar, remove from heat, mix everything up well, taste and correct the seasoning. Do you need more salt or pepper? A little more sweet or sour?
Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle the top with nuts and breadcrumbs. Serves a crowd!
One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts has only 56 calories, less than a gram of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates, nearly 500 mg. of potassium, 4 g. of fiber, and 4 g. of protein. It also has almost twice your daily need for Vitamin C and one-fourth of Vitamin A., 10% of your iron, and 6% of your calcium.
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