I never had any definite feelings about brussels sprouts while growing up. My parents never tried to make me eat them, perhaps taking a cue from my inability to consume broccoli without myriad threats. Because of this, I was neutral on the subject of the offending sprouts and they remained a vegetable that I acknowledged until my twenties as 'probably terrible,' given their green existence.
And then, I tried them.
This is a recipe adapted from Fine Cooking, a magazine that I practically read for bedtime stories. Before searching for this recipe, I had come across quite a find at my farmer's market. This is the find:
These are rubine brussels sprouts. (Photo credit to goodeverydaythings.com). Beautiful purple and red and green. I got them without knowing what I would make with them. I eventually did this:
Seared, steamed, and balsamiced. So good. As you can see, those aren't rubine sprouts. Unfortunately, I didn't have my oven at hand when I purchased the reddish ones. So, I'll be recreating the recipe with these boring (but still tasty!) green ones. First step: HALVE ALL THE THINGS!
Thereby making a beautiful flat surface which will sear to a deep brown. So, heat up some oil, and place these buggers face-down in the pan, like so:
There are many sounds more beautiful than spitting oil, but it does happen to be a favorite of mine. God I love this pot. ANYWAY, here they are, searing. I really crowd them in, which is fine, since they're going to get (SPOILER ALERT) steamed anyway. I generally add in about 3/4 of a cup of water. But it can also be a dry white wine or chicken broth or sherry or however you want the sprouts to taste. When they're brown on the bottom, pour in the liquid and cover. It's time to stop steaming when a knife blade easily punctures all but the very center of each half-sprout. Take off the cover and let any remaining liquid evaporate.
THEN, my lovelies, is my favorite part. 3-4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, straight into the pan.
At this point, it's time to toss the sprouts around a bit, to get them evenly coated. Once the vinegar is absorbed, it's time to eat!
In the past, I've had this dish with pomegranate seeds and shaved Parmesan, which is my favorite way to eat it, but this is also surprisingly good on eggs, as pictured below. I made them in the same pot, by the way, for deliciously balsamic-flavored scrambled eggs. Mmmm.
Butter for the eggs melting right on top of the leftover balsamic glaze.
Eggs thoroughly beaten + salt and pepper
You can JUST see the eggs under the sprouts... they make a really good background comfort taste for the crunchy sprouts and vinegar tang.
Et voila. Good for breakfast or a lazy dinner, as this happened to be. Hope you try it!