Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sautéed Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Toasted Pecans



Brussels sprouts. I think everyone can agree this is a love/hate relationship vegetable. When I was young (and wonderfully foolish), I used to think they were mini-cabbages or heads of lettuce. Not that I wanted to eat them, mind you, but I found it amusing that these things seemed fit for a gnome's table.

Anyway, enough foolishness. I was in search of a vegetable side dish for dinner a few days back and I thought of the lowly sprout, so ignored by me in cooking. Well, those days are at an end. This was (believe it or not) one of the first times I had actually cooked the things raw (rather than frozen and re-heated in a microwave). And what better way to mask a vegetable than by putting bacon with it? Always guaranteed to please.

The nuts were also an inspiration, giving just enough of a crunch and texture to the dish that made it all the better. The only time-intensive part of the dish was the endless shredding of sprouts. Unless you're handy with a mandolin (and even I won't dare to use one on these little mini-cabbages), you're setting yourself up for a lot of knife work. But worth it for the sprouts!!

Ingredients

2 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4-inch-thick slices bacon (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup low-salt chicken broth
Coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

Method 

Trim root ends from brussels sprouts. Using sharp knife or processor fitted with coarse shredding disk, thinly slice brussels sprouts into shreds. 

Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; sauté until golden, about 3 minutes.

Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add brussels sprouts and broth; sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle with pecans right before serving. 



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