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Balsamic Brussels & Beets

March 25, 2011 Food 1 Comment

Brussels sprouts and beets. It sounds like punishment, doesn’t it? I’m a fan of eating fresh, healthy food — but it has to taste good. Regular ol’ cabbage is not a favorite of mine, so you can imagine that I didn’t instantly fall in love with the little cabbage heads that are brussels sprouts. I tried a lot of different preparations and all of them still tasted like cabbage. Short of frying them in butter, what’s a girl to do?

I needed a full-flavor, low-fat hero to save the day.

Balsamic vinegar is one of my favorite condiments. So when I got a package of both brussels sprouts and red beets in my CSA, I thought I’d turn two not-so-favorite vegetables into something palatable by adding this sweet and tangy miracle ingredient. I had no idea how it would turn out, but hoped that the sugars in the balsamic would caramelize a little bit and add some depth to the bitter sprouts and bland beets. Also critical: slicing the brussels sprouts thinly, thereby creating ample surface area to soak up the delicious other flavors.

I love being right! I played around with this recipe a couple of times before sharing it with you, just to make sure I have the right amounts. This has become a household favorite, even for Greg. So delicious! So healthy!

BALSAMIC BRUSSELS AND BEETS
1 lb. brussels sprouts
3 small raw red beets
2 shallots
1 glug extra virgin olive oil (for pan)
1/4 c + 1 T balsamic vinegar (more to taste)
1 T brown sugar
1/4 c chopped peans
Salt & pepper to taste
1 dab butter
Optional: 2 slices cooked bacon or pancetta, crumbled

1. Rinse brussels sprouts well and pull off any nasty-looking leaves.

2. Cut off greens at base. If yours aren’t wilted like mine are, you can use them in another recipe. Scrub beets with a veggie brush to clean them. Use a box or hand grater to grate them into a medium-sized bowl. Take care not to grate your fingers and nails.

NOTE: Beets stain! Take care with your clothes, countertops, and hands!

3. Slice sprouts into ~1/4″ slices. Some leaves will fall off – that’s okay.

4. Mince your shallots.

5. Heat a large skillet on the stove. Add a glug of EVOO and let it get warm. Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two until they start to brown.

6. Add the brussels + beets and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Add the brown sugar (1 T), balsamic vinegar (1/4 c + 1 T), and salt & pepper to taste. Stir to make sure everything is well-coated with the good stuff. Let the veggies saute for several minutes, softening as they absorb the liquid. You may want to put a lid on to steam them a bit.

8. Add the pecans (and bacon, if using) and stir to incorporate.

9. Just before serving, add a dot of butter and stir one last time. Enjoy!

Have you found a good way to eat brussels sprouts?

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Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Thank you Thank you Thank you! I will be trying this out this week. I believe I will use the bacon.

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