Monday, January 28, 2013

What's On the Side: Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pine Nuts


I don't remember ever having Brussels sprouts during my childhood. The first time I tasted Brussels sprouts was at a restaurant -- and I hated them. They were soggy and bitter and tasted awful. Perhaps  my Brussels sprouts hate was in part aided by the fact that I'd been ingrained with the pop culture knowledge that Brussels sprouts = the worst.

Fast forward several years, and I've (gasp) come to really, really like Brussels sprouts. Of course, I think it helps to add a bit of butter and olive oil (and a generous shake of salt and pepper) to the mix. This recipe additionally features the flavors of garlic and toasted pine nuts -- and don't forget a generous helping of freshly-grated asiago cheese to finish off the dish. Go ahead, give this recipe a whirl -- maybe it'll convert you into a Brussels sprouts lover, too.

Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Pine Nuts (adapted from this Epicurious recipe)
makes two servings

12 small- to medium-size Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, width-wise
3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts

1. Melt the butter in a large (preferably cast iron) skillet over medium heat. Stir in the olive oil.
2. Saute the sliced garlic until golden brown. Remove the garlic and place in a small bowl.
3. Reduce the heat to low and place the Brussels sprouts in the pan, cut-side down.
4. Sear for 15 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
5. Use tongs to remove the cooked Brussels sprouts and place them in a serving dish, cut-side up.
6. Add the cooked garlic slices and pine nuts back into the skillet. Toast the pine nuts until pale golden in color.
7. Sprinkle the garlic and pine nuts over the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with grated asiago or Parmesan cheese.


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