The key to these sprouts is to sear the cut sides but ultimately undercook them; you want a firm, almost crunchy, texture with lots of flavor from the caramelized edges. The sweet-and-and-sour punch of the cider and mustard works so well with these sometimes-bitter little buds.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and quartered
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 cup local apple cider
1 teaspoon local cider vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large saucepan on medium-high, heat the oil and add the quartered sprouts. Sear them on 1 cut side, 1–2 minutes, then flip them to brown the other cut side. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the shallot and garlic. Sauté, browning the shallot a bit, then add the apple cider, vinegar, mustard (whisk it into the cider) and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves.
Bring the liquid to a boil and continue to cook, stirring, until the cider has reduced and the spouts are tender, just another 2–3 minutes or so. Stir the butter into the pan sauce, then taste a sprout and add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of thyme leaves before serving.
This story appeared in the Winter 2017 issue.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, soccer mom, Italophile and managing editor at Edible Boston. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.