CIDER-BRAISED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
The key to these sprouts is not to overcook them; you want a firm, almost crunchy texture, with lots of flavor from the caramelized cut 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 one 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. Whisk 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.
Sarah Blackburn is a home cook, recipe developer, vegetable gardener and managing editor of Edible Boston. She can be reached at email@example.com