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Brussels Sprouts: The Disregarded Vegetable

Kerry Altiero's recipe is something even the kids will like.

PORTLAND, Maine — Stripped from the pages of his book The Best Comfort Food on the Planet this is the brussels sprout recipe that will even have your kids asking for them. Kerry brings the flavors forward, includes the disregarded sprout from the land of Brussels and lifts it up with real comfort cooking. 

Brussels Sprouts: The Disregarded Vegetable

“What? No Brussels sprouts!?” say our customers, every spring. As asparagus and fiddleheads appear, we dump from the menu all the winter foods we are tired of: brown stocks, sausages, braises, cabbages and Brussels sprouts. At least, we try. But, for you? Here it is for any time the mini cabbages are available!

Cooking Brussels sprouts in cream makes an asset of the bitterness that is so often a turnoff. These are sweet and creamy with just enough of that bitter edge to keep you gobbling them down. Are these better with bacon? Yes. Is bacon necessary? Not at all.

Serves 2

1 lb/454 g Brussels sprouts

½ cup/66 g red onion, sliced

¼ cup/60 ml olive oil, plus a little more

2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely

7 medium button mushrooms, smashed

2 oz/56 g uncooked thick-cut bacon, chopped into pinky-size pieces (optional)

1 tbsp/15 ml balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp/89 ml heavy cream

Pinch salt

Coarsely ground black pepper

Chopped fresh parsley, to finish

Preheat your oven to 450°F/232°C.

Cut off the bottom (the brown part) of each sprout. Quarter them and toss with a little olive oil to coat.

In a heavy 11-inch/28 cm round (or equivalent in surface area) oven-safe casserole dish or skillet, place the sprouts, onion, garlic, mushrooms, bacon (if using) and the ¼ cup/60 ml of olive oil. Put it in the oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until everything is browned well. Depending on your pan and your oven, this can take upward of 25 minutes. 

When the sprouts are just getting tender, carefully add the vinegar. Add the cream, then continue roasting.

Let the liquid reduce until it is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 8 minutes. Serve in the pan (careful of the Formica) or on a nice platter. Add salt, a grinding of pepper and an Elvis Parsley sprinkle.

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