During my dietetic internship, I was required to spend a little time in the school lunch room. Observing, helping out, ah..well - doing free work.
One day, cauliflower was on the menu. The cook oversteamed it to mush, and lightly threw on some salt and pepper. When I asked her if there was any thing I needed to add to it, her reply was, "No, they're not going to eat it anyway."
I was appalled. Shocked. Well, of course they're not going to eat it.
Holy Toledo, who would?!
That incident, is what I thought of when preparing these delectable sprouts. I know that sprouts are not generally a food you'd pick out of a line-up to eat. But try them, cooked like this. The caramelization yields a nutty and subtle sweetness-hence, the darker color.
Brussels Sprouts & Pecans
adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 Tbsp extra virgin- (best quality) olive oil, & extra dash or two when serving
1 large handful of pecan halves
Few pinches of coarse salt
1 fresh lemon, cut in half
Steam the Brussels sprouts for 6-7 minutes, or just until tender and a pretty green. Let them cool for a few minutes and then cut them in half lengthwise.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the sprouts in a single layer, cut side down in the skillet. Cook in batches, if needed, but I didn't need. Sprinkle pecans in-between the sprouts. Allow both sprouts and pecans to cook for 4-5 minutes - do not stir and toss them! The goal in that 4-5 minutes is browned, not burned.
After the 4-5 minutes of this, flip each sprout, allowing the other side to brown, about an extra 3 minutes. Stir the pecans around, you don't want them to burn either.
Remove from heat onto serving platter, sprinkle with the salt, drizzle with olive oil, and squeeze the lemon halves over the sprouts, making sure to share at least a drop of lemon on each sprout halve.
Will serve 4 vegetable loving people and takes ~ 25 minutes.
If you're having a salad, and who isn't? Sprinkle some of these pecans on it as well, my husband loves doing this. And yes, he's a Brussels sprouts convert now.
Posted from the Galapagos Islands, while watching sea lions play.