I am about to talk about something pretty controversial. I know it usually is best if you don't want to alienate your readership not to tread too often onto subjects like this one, and I really do hope my 5 (yes, 5) followers will still feel the same way about me and my blog after I say this.
So, I might as well come out with it: I think Brussels Sprouts are downright yummy. Yes, I know this is a very polarizing topic for many individuals. Some people love them, some people hate them, and yet other people don't eat them regardless of love or hate simply because they give them terrible gas (pardon my bluntness, dear readers). But I have to come right out and say, unless you fall into that third camp, you really should try these sprouts and give 'em another chance. Reduced balsamic vinegar, butter, a hint of brown sugar and the right amount of time in the oven turns these into tender, bright and sweet morsels that I eat up like candy. I even caught myself about to lick the last bits of sauce off the plate.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
16 oz of Brussels Spouts (this is the standard size of one bag of fresh Brussels sprouts when I see them in the super market.), large ones cut in half top to bottom (so they stay together on the root and don't just fall apart as they would cut horizontally)
1 large onion, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBS unsalted butter
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 TBS brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Bring a quart of water to boil on the stove. while you wait for it to boil, slice your sprouts in half, and pick off any sad looking leaves as needed. add the sprouts to the boiling water and cook 5-10 minutes before removing and placing in a bowl of cold water.
3. While the sprouts blanch, dice the onion, and cook it in 1 TBS of butter in a small pan. cook until translucent, then add the minced garlic.
4. placed drained brussels sprouts into a glass or metal roasting pan, with half of the cooked onions, and about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar drizzled over. I also add a bit of the butter, cut into tiny pieces, for some liquid in the pan. Cook for 15 minutes.
5. add balsamic vinegar and remaining butter to remaining onions in pan, and heat over medium heat for the 15 minutes the brussels sprouts are cooking. This allows it to reduce and sweeten.
6. when the 15 minutes of time elapses, remove the brussells sprouts from the oven, pour over with your pan sauce, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Return to the oven and allow to roast for another 10 minutes.
This may not seem like the simplest way to cook brussels sprouts- is the blanching really necessary? Why not just let the balsamic reduce in the oven? All good questions, but what I have to say for myself is this: the timing actually works out quite well, and each step in itself is pretty simple. Perhaps you could cut out the blanching and just increase the oven time and it would be fine. I am not really the premier expert on brussels sprouts, I admit. BUT, this way works, and comes out so yummy and sweet and not too raw/not too overcooked. So I say go with it. If you are like me, it will make your heart sing. Sweet, sweet songs of Brussels Sprouts.
Also...one additional note I feel I must add: provided you are not going to serve this to vegetarians, if you have some bacon or panchetta in the house, good god throw it in there. You won't regret it.