Saturday, November 27, 2010

Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pine Nuts

Gratuitous pretty picture of expensive nuts

Holy Alice in Wonderland, Batman... This dish included the largest apple and the smallest Brussels sprout I have ever seen.

I think the combination of B-sprouts and apples is a very solid one--In fact, I'm really surprised I haven't blogged about a cabbage-apple recipe.  That said, I was a little disappointed by this recipe.  For one, the sizes/shapes of the ingredients were a little incongruous: next time, I'd cut the apples into 1-in-diced cubes instead of slices.  Then they'd match the fineness of the sprouts better.  This would also keep them from overcooking unevenly.  Secondly, the maple syrup's power was somewhat wasted on the apples.  Next time, I'd add it near the end to both the apples and the sprouts; I think it would have more influence on the dish as opposed to just making the apples sweeter.  Oh, and I undercooked the sprouts.  :(  All this said, though, apples, Brussels sprouts, maple, and nuts are quite delicious together.

Maple-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Pine Nuts

1 large, crisp apple, large dice
juice of 1 lemon
a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salt
a couple splashes of olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
a scant tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
12 ounces (3/4 pound) brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons


1. Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon.
*see notes for suggested alternate cooking method*
2. Heat oil in skillet.  Stir in the garlic, wait a few seconds, now stir in the maple syrup, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Drain the apples, and add them to the skillet, cooking for another minute. Scrape the apple mixture out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.
3. In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.
4. Stir the apple mixture back into the skillet alongside the brussels sprouts 1/2 of the pine nuts - gently stir to combine. Remove from heat and enjoy immediately sprinkled with the remaining pine nuts.  Serves about 3-4.

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