Sprouts Before Spring

Make the most of Brussels sprouts before the season is over. You’ll be glad you did.

It can be bitter, yes. It can be tough. But when treated kindly, the Brussels sprout produces nuanced flavors that are palatable to even the pickiest of “I-don’t-like-vegetables” eaters. Harvested primarily September through March, the Brussels sprout is almost out of season. Don’t miss your chance to try out some of our favorite recipes before it’s too late.

Creamed Brussels Sprouts

3 – 4 pounds Brussels sprouts
½ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
nutmeg, fresh-grated

Peel the sprouts, score the root ends, and blanch until bright green, taking care not to crowd the pot. In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the butter and olive oil, until tender. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half, and add them to the onion mix, mixing until the sprouts are coated. Add the stock, salt and pepper, and simmer until tender. Cool slightly, then puree in batches. Return the mixture to the pan, add cream and correct seasoning with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and simmer until desired thickness.

Crisped Brussels Sprouts

1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 ounces honey
2 ounces crispy bacon, chopped
2 ounces apple juice
1 ounce red wine vinegar
1 cup cornstarch
pinch salt and pepper
1 quart canola oil

In a stock pot, heat oil to 350 degrees, using a candy thermometer to control temperature. Slice all sprouts in half and set aside. In sauté pan, add apple juice, vinegar and 1 ounce of honey. Cook on medium until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. In large mixing bowl, coat sprouts in cornstarch. Shake off excess. Using a large metal spoon, add sprouts to oil in small batches. Cook until blistered and caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove sprouts from oil and add to liquid in sauté pan. Using tongs, coat evenly. Let sit for one minute. Add bacon, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and drizzle with remaining honey.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

4 cups shaved Brussels sprouts
enough butter and olive oil for sautéing
1 onion sliced thinly
1 cup cooked bacon
blue cheese for garnish
8 ½ ounces canola oil
6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
3 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Caramelize onion by cooking in a mix of olive oil and butter over medium-low heat until brown. In a large sauté pan, melt a little butter over medium heat. Add sprouts and onions, and cook until warm and tender. Add bacon. Remove from heat. Mix remaining ingredients to make vinaigrette and toss with vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve warm.

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