Sunday, October 11, 2015

Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Plate of Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Spicy, Sweet, and Healthy

Recipe Adapted from Vegetable Recipes I Can’t Live Without

Consider the humble yet bizarre Brussels sprout. The first time my friend claimed that a large field of turgid, leafy 4-foot stalks overlooking the Pacific Ocean was Brussels sprouts, I thought he was kidding. Like when he said that the Zinfandel that I’d bought for my parents was aged in chicken manure. But surprising ly, many Brussels sprouts were indeed clinging to the stalks. Although most sprouts are harvested by machines, those of us close to the central coast can pick up freshly harvested sprouts on the stalk this month at the Farmers’ Market. My gems are organic  sprouts from Rodoni Farms, lightly browned and steamed, then dressed with an easy 3-ingredient sauce that’s strong enough to stand up to Brussels sprouts yet not overpower them.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Maple Mustard Sauce Added
Adding Sauce to Brussels Sprouts
My recipe is inspired by Molly Katzen, chef and author from the legendary Moosewood Restaurant, one of the first US restaurants to feature vegetarian fare. I’ve cut down the amount of oil and salt to let the sprouts’ own flavor shine, and have browned them a bit. To the Dijon mustard and maple syrup sauce I’ve added stoneground mustard to mellow the flavor and bump up the texture. Preparation is simple—unlike some recipes, you’ll have plenty of time prepare the sauce while the Brussels sprouts are cooking. It’s simply a matter of stirring together mustard and maple. Although Ms. Katzen suggests light, Grade A maple syrup, my family prefers the more intensely flavored Grade B. Either will work, and feel free to change the proportion of Dijon to stoneground mustard.

If you do buy your Brussels sprouts on a stalk, this recipe will use approximately 1/3 to ½ of the sprouts. This dish makes a tasty potluck contribution as well as a flavorful side dish at home.

Plated Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Beautiful Browned Sprouts
Maple Mustard Braised Brussels Sprouts
serves 3 – 4

1 tbsp. olive oil
¼ cup minced onion
1 lb. medium-size Brussels sprouts
¼ tsp. salt
4 – 6 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. stoneground mustard
2 tbsp. maple syrup, Grade B if possible
freshly ground black pepper

Trim Brussels sprouts and wash thoroughly to remove any insect debris. Drain. Cut sprouts in half lengthwise. Set aside.

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently till slightly softened, about 3 – 5 minutes.

Add Brussels sprouts and salt to pan. Stir to coat with oil. Sauté, stirring frequently, until sprouts are lightly browned, about 6 – 7 minutes.

Sprinkle in 4 tbsp. (¼ cup) water. Cover and shake the pan. Cook over medium heat for 4 – 5 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are bright green and fork-tender but still firm. You might need to add another tablespoon or two of water during this process.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing: whisk together Dijon mustard, stoneground mustard, and maple syrup until smooth. When sprouts are cooked, add sauce to pan and stir to combine.

Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, topped with a shower of black pepper. 

Closeup of Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts
Sprout Love

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