Brussels sprouts, thinly shaved and used in a slaw instead of cabbage, or cooked as they are in this recipe, are how my husband and I prefer to eat them. They have never been a favourite for either of us...it turns out that the smaller the size, and the less they are cooked, the better they taste (to us, anyway).
Part of my dislike relates to being fed whole, overcooked Brussels sprouts as a child. When overcooked, like cabbage, the texture becomes slimy and the smell more intense. A quick cook keeps the crunchy texture, the fresh taste and no strong smell....a much more pleasant experience. Discovering this allows us to eat and enjoy another hated childhood vegetable.
Start off by thinly slicing the Brussels sprouts. Peel any ugly outside leaves off, and remove the stem. Slice the sprouts as thinly as possible, either by hand, in a food processor, or with a mandoline, which is what I used. For two people I shaved 16 Brussels sprouts.
Cut into 2" strips:
2 slices of prosciutto
Cook on a medium heat in a nonstick pan, until it starts to crisp slightly.
a drizzle of olive oil
the shaved Brussels sprouts
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
Continue to cook, on a medium high heat, stirring often, until the sprouts start to wilt slightly, but also to crisp and get a bit of colour on some of the edges.
At this point, taste the sprouts and adjust the seasoning.
1/4 cup of chopped pecans
Continue to cook for another minute or two to heat and slightly toast the pecans. Remove from the heat and serve. I served mine alongside turkey meatloaf and garlic-thyme mashed potatoes...a Christmas dinner throwback!
- As with any vegetable, less cooking yields a crisper texture and brighter colour, but also leaves more of the nutritional value in the vegetable and not in the pot.
- As I mentioned, I have thinly shaved them and used them instead of cabbage to make a coleslaw.
- Flavours that pair well with Brussels sprouts are garlic, pepper, smoky and salty (think bacon or prosciutto), nuts (almonds or pecans), blue cheese, fresh thyme, maple syrup.
- Dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins or cherries can be added, especially if using the sprouts in a salad.
- Peel the individual leaves off of each sprout and toss with a light, sweet dressing, some toasted nuts, fresh oranges and blue cheese to make an easy salad.
- If you choose to roast the sprouts, do so at a high heat, for just long enough to cook them. Aim for tender, but still crunchy.