Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Seasonal Finds: Brussels Sprouts

I love the look of a single perfect Brussels sprout: bright green, compact, leafy and firm to the touch. They look like mini cabbages! They’re adorable—yes, food can be adorable.

This Brussels sprout with apple and pancetta recipe can be made any time, and it’s a great dish for Thanksgiving, too. The savory Brussels sprouts are tender and lightly charred; the sweet apples are firm and crisp; and the salty pancetta adds a chewy texture to this dish. I recommend adding extra apple, dried cranberries and nuts to dress this recipe up even more!

Method: The way to prepare Brussels sprouts for cooking begins with cutting the buds off the stalk. Cut away any surplus stem, and peel and discard any loose surface leaves. Sprouts should generally all be of a similar size to ensure they are evenly cooked. I have heard that some like to make a single cut or a cross in the center of the stem for cooking, but in this recipe, I find the method of boiling them, halving them and finishing them on the sauté pan makes a tender and delicious sprout.

Tip: Be careful not to over-season this dish with salt, as pancetta has a strong salty taste on it’s own.

Brussels sprouts with pancetta and apples

Ingredients:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 shallots, minced
3 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 apples, peeled and diced into cubes
Sea salt

Directions
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the Brussels sprouts until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, and pat dry. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.

In a small skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallots and pancetta, and cook, stirring until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes. Scrape into a bowl.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down. Season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally until the sprouts are slightly charred and tender, about 8 minutes. Add in the apples, shallots and pancetta, mixing to allow the flavors to meld. Transfer to a bowl, and serve immediately.

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About Amanda Jane

Amanda Jane is the creator of the food blog Seasonally Jane, a creative space where she shares her love of seasonally inspired cooking through original recipes, photography and writing.  Seasonally Jane celebrates the use of peak-season fruits and vegetables with an emphasis on organic whole foods and unique ingredients. Amanda launched her blog in September 2014 and is based in Lighthouse Point.

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