Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I've never met a brussel sprout I didn't like...

 ...perhaps that's because I've only ever made them one way - and it is mmm mmm good!

Before I ran into this recipe, I'd heard all kinds of awful things about brussel sprouts, but had never tasted them.  Curiosity finally got the better part of me on one of my farmer market binges just after we got back from Egypt.

I delved into the bin at the farmer's market and hand selected the greenest, most tightly wrapped up sprouts I could pick out - I was so excited to try a new vegetable and I wanted to pick out the best ones there.  (much to Daniel's dismay - he didn't want to be the known as the fellow accompanying the crazy lady who spent a full ten minutes picking out brussel sprouts)  

Armed with a bag of brussel sprouts and hopeful anticipation, I began to think about what I would do with them.  I wanted something simple that would showcase the sprouts' flavor - after all, if I was going to try a new veggie, I had to give it a fair audition!  Then I remembered one of Heidi's recipes over at 101 Cookbooks that I had earmarked waaaaaaaaaaaaay  back in the day - it fit the bill so I decided to go with it.  

I don't know how these green little bundles turn out in other recipes, but I love them in this one - so much so that I included them in my family Thanksgiving dinner a couple of weeks ago.  And since I said I'd be sharing some of those recipes, here comes round 2 - Golden-Crusted Brussel Sprouts (borrowed and only a teensy bit adapted from here).  You have to try this - it is so simple and oh so yummy!

24 small brussel sprouts*
1 tbsp olive oil
fine grain sea salt & black pepper (preferably freshly ground)
grated cheese to taste** 
(I use Parmesan)

*the original recipe says this makes 4 servings, but we usually split it between the two of us -- it seems we eat heftier veggie servings than most
** Heidi suggests 1/4 cup, I prefer just a light dusting  

1. Wash sprouts, removing any loosey-goosey outer leaves and cutting off any stem ends that are jutting out. 

2. Cut each sprout in half from stem to top.

3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold all your sprouts in a single layer. 

4. Place sprouts in pan on their flat side, cover and cook for 5 minutes-ish, giving it a shake every once in a while.

5. Once the bottoms start to brown, cut into or taste one to test for tenderness.  (if its not tender, cover and cook a tad longer)

6. As soon as they are good and tender, uncover & turn up the heat, allowing for the bottoms to carmelize a bit.  Toss or stir them along the way to get some color on the rounded sides as well. 

6. Top with salt, pepper, and grated cheese.

7. Serve immediately (...assuming you haven't already polished them off!) --these babies are at their peak right after you're done preparing them! 

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