i grew up in a house where brussels sprouts were not served. this is simply because the mushy-ness of my grandmother’s brussels sprouts [and all her vegetables, really] was legendary, and so scarred my mother that, for years, she believed them to be a nasty vegetable that could not be served any other way. so naturally, my general assumption was that they weren’t so great, which was pretty easy to do during my supermarket shopping years, since they’re not exactly popular there either.
but then one day, i think i convinced myself that if it was a naturally grown vegetable, it couldn’t be inherently bad. i asked around to my midwest friends who ate them a lot more often and heard of these great quick-sauté preparations, leaving them crunchy and flavorful and i got hopeful. better yet, i bought some and tried it out. i’ve grown to love the larger family of brassica vegetables and look forward to trying out new flavors with them.
this garlicky sauté isn’t exactly unique, but it’s very simple and tasty, and allows for a side dish for most any main dish flavor profile.
garlicky balsamic brussels sprouts
about 24 brussels sprouts
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tb olive oil
2 tb balsamic vinegar
2 tb water
salt, pepper & additional balsamic vinegar to taste
optional: juice and zest of one lemon
wash brussels sprouts and drain on a dish towel. add oil, vinegar and water to a frying pan over medium heat, heat through and add brussels sprouts to the pan. cover and let the water lightly steam through the brussels sprouts 3 minutes. uncover, turn up the heat to medium-high and sauté brussels sprouts until they are lightly browned in spots. season to taste with salt, pepper and more balsamic if you like. or zest it up if you have lemon around!