Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds and Balsamic
I've been going out of my way to make Brussels sprouts AND actually eating them. Does this mean I am officially an adult now? I think there's those milestones in your life where your taste buds just change, develop, and become finely tuned. Or perhaps they weaken with age so that we're able to eat things like olives, red wine and Brussels sprouts without stomping our feet and making faces like we're dying inside. 😉
Seriously, guys, I have a vivid memory of eating a Brussels sprout when I was about 6. The thing stayed in my mouth for what felt like hours. I just couldn't swallow it, and I wasn't allowed to spit it out. I was gagging. And now …. I make them ON PURPOSE! It's a bit ridic.
The thing is when I grew up Brussels sprouts were prepared one way: steamed. All vegetables in the 80s and 90s seemed to be subjected to a soggy and bland fate. A tiny dab of margarine might have been the highlight of their lives. It's no wonder no one liked to eat their veggies.
→ sidebar ← My mom would sometimes smother our steamed veggies in cheese sauce and my sister and I would devour them. But then cheese sauce has magical powers to turn everything, even soggy veggies, into something even kids want to eat.
The thing with Brussels sprouts, and all veggies, is you have to know to cook them. Put away that pot full of water and do one of two things: turn on the oven or grab a frying pan. Roasting your veggies, like with these Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts, brings out their natural sweetness and will make you want to eat them.
Searing them until they're nice and dark in your frying pan will give you similar results in less time. When you make these make sure that they're in a single layer and work in batches if you need to. A cast iron frying pan works the best for these. If you have a non-stick pan you'll have trouble getting these to brown nicely – a least that's what I remember from when I used to use non-stick pans.
I used to think that Brussels sprouts were only eaten at Thanksgiving and Christmas but recipe is simple and easy enough to make any day. Bon appetit!
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Pan seared brussels sprouts are an easy to make side dish that you can goes as well beside a quick weeknight main as it does with a special dinner.
- 2 tablespoons whole almonds
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil
- 11 ounces (about 16) brussels sprouts, cut in half
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- A good pinch of Maldon, or other flaky sea salt
- Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) on medium high heat. Add the almonds and toast them, shaking the pan occasionally, until they start to brown and are fragrant. Remove them from the pan and, when they are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them.
- Add the oil to the same pan. Place the Brussels sprouts, facedown, in the pan. Work in batches if you need to so that the Brussels are in a single layer. Cook them for about 5 minutes, or until they are dark brown on the bottom. Add a few tablespoons of water (no need to be exact) to the pan and cover it with a lid – this will ensure they are cooked through. I like my Brussels with a bit of crunch still but if you like them softer you may want to add another splash of water to the pan. Remove the Brussels from the pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar to the same pan. It will start to bubble up immediately. Wait about 15 seconds then pour the reduced balsamic over the Brussels. Top with the chopped almonds and a good pinch of flaky sea salt.