Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Secrets for Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts' taste and smell can be bitter or delicious. The secret is in how you prepare them.

  If you're using fresh Brussels   sprouts, (and you really should) trim off all remaining portions of the stem as well as any discolored outer leaves.

 Wash well under running water or soak for a few minutes in a bowl of fresh water, then rinse.

 Before cooking, cut an “X” in  the bottom of each sprout to ensure that the heat spreads evenly.

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts (cont'd)

Microwaving or steaming will preserve the sprouts’ texture and color. Cook until the Brussels sprouts are bright green and just tender with a little crunch, usually 4 to 8 minutes in a microwave or 8 to 10 minutes in a stovetop steamer, depending on size. Baby sprouts often have a sweeter taste than full-sized and are available frozen. Add a sprinkling of chopped pecans and dried cranberries, plus a dash of balsamic vinegar and a touch of olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Toss before serving.

Roasting also works well for Brussels sprouts. The oven's dry heat works to evaporate the liquid from the sprouts, making them pleasingly firm and creamy-textured while caramelizing their natural sugar for a bit of sweetness. Toss the sprouts with some olive oil and roast for about 25-30 minutes in a 400-degree oven on an oiled baking sheet. When done, spritz with fresh lemon juice and top with a spoonful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast before serving.

You can braise Brussels sprouts in broth as well, with shallots or sliced garlic, slowly over medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Stir them once or twice during cooking. Or make this tangy, garlicky glaze:

Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
                   Contributed by the AICR


1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey or agave nectar, or to taste
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. minced peeled ginger
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 oz. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, washed and with an X cut on the bottom of each; or 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed

How we make it

Combine first six ingredients in blender and blend just until puréed. Transfer to a nonstick saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to moderate.

Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is slightly syrupy. Check taste and if glaze seems too acidic, stir in slightly more honey. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Reduce heat to low and set aside.

If using fresh sprouts, steam 8-10 minutes on the stove, covered, over 1 1/2 cups boiling water (or 4-5 minutes in a microwave oven on a plate with 1/4 cup water).

Drizzle glaze over hot, cooked sprouts and serve immediately. (Glaze may be stored, covered, in refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat glaze before using.)

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 70 calories, 1.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 25 mg sodium.

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