Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brussel Sprouts and Whole Grain Crostini

I don't recall ever being offered Brussels sprouts as a vegetable option as a kid. I'm not sure if my parents refused to even try to wage a PR campaign against the sadly maligned vegetable, or if they themselves were victims of poorly prepared Brussels sprouts. This ain't your momma's Brussels sprouts. Or if they were, I'd like to shake your mom's hand. I was introduced to the transformative power of bacon on Brussels sprouts at DC's Central restaurant where we and our friends thought the sprouts were so delicious, we literally ordered another serving. Here, Mr. P has called on Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" (a great cookbook to have on hand, by the way) to recreate some of that magic, and his attempt was a great success! Cut the sprouts as small as you are able without them disintegrating for maximum deliciousness. Someday, I'd like to try this roasted or braised with whole sprouts, but this makes for a tasty and surprisingly quick side of vege. Mr. P had the brilliant notion of toasting some whole grain baguette under the broiler with a bit of olive oil and salt to accompany this. So simple, so delicious!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

3-5 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/4 c of water
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the bacon in a large skillet until crisp over med-high heat. Add the sprouts and a 1/4 c of water to the skillet. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes until sprouts soften. Raise heat, and cook off the remaining water - cooking for another 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve.

Whole Grain Crostini

1 whole grain baguette
Few Tbs of good-quality olive oil

Preheat Broiler. Slice baguette into thin slices. Brush with olive oil and dust with sea (or other) salt. Broil for 1-2 minutes (be sure to keep an eye on them as they burn quickly!) until they reach a nice golden brown. You can jazz this up with cheese, herbs or garlic also, if desired.