Our own Brussels sprouts won’t be ready to pick for at least another month, so while we’re waiting we decided to indulge in a special treat that’s showing up in produce departments at supermarkets and local farm stores. Shaved Brussels sprouts are tidy packages of thinly sliced buds which save you plenty of prep time. They cook quickly in a cast-iron skillet. Pan-searing gives them a slightly roasted sweetness plus the speed of a stir-fry.
Last night, we fried some chopped bacon, set the bits aside, and then cooked the sprouts in the drippings along with sunflower seeds, garlic, and a finishing glaze of Spiker’s Roasted Cinnamon Apple or Sour Cherry Plum shrub. This made a stunning companion to pork tenderloin medallions which also got a splash of shrub for a final glaze. Yum!
1poundBrussels sproutsshaved or trimmed and thinly sliced
1tbspSpiker's ShrubsRoasted Cinnamon Apple or Sour Cherry Plum shrub
In a cast iron skillet, fry the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and spread onto paper towels. Do not discard the bacon drippings.
Add the sunflower seeds to the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until the seeds are lightly toasted. Add the garlic and Brussels sprouts and toss to coat with the hot bacon oil. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sprouts are wilted.
Move the skillet to a separate burner that isn't hot. Drizzle the shrub over the sprouts and stir quickly. (The heat of the skillet will cause the shrub to sizzle and steam.) Put the skillet back on the hot burner and stir for about 1 minute until the sprouts are shiny and glazed.
Spoon the sprouts into a serving dish, add the crisp bacon, and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve while warm. (This is also delicious as a room temperature salad).
This recipe can swing both ways if you are making it for vegetarians and carnivores at the same table. Reserve the bacon drippings in a separate pan. Stir-fry the sprouts, garlic, etc. in a different pan using your choice of oil. Divide the cooked sprouts in half, and stir one portion into the reserved bacon drippings.