Sorry for my absence and the sporadic downtimes on the blog this past few weeks. My website was crashing the server, requiring me to completely rebuild the blog using an upgraded version of my theme. Well, I didn’t exactly rebuilt it – Corey did. (thanks, Corey!), although I did do a little tweaking. I’m hoping it’s loading faster and more smoothly now, making for a better user experience.
Amazingly, I resisted the urge to re-design anything, which is sort of like having your apartment renovated, but buying all the same furniture and not changing the wall color or curtains. Which is testimony either to the fact that I have become less of a perfectionist, or that I don’t have time and energy for anything new right now, or maybe that I simply love my blog just the way it is.
I think I can pretty much say the same thing about these brussels sprouts.
I started out scouring the web and my recipe books to find something amazingly new to do with these lovely little babies that hasn’t been done or blogged about by someone else before. You know, something to rock the food blogging world and turn the heart of even the most vehement brussels sprouts hater. Something just crazy enough to be brilliant.
Along the way, I found this recipe using both bacon and brown butter (be still, my atherosclerotic heart!), which reminded me of my Dad, who used to eat bacon raw (It’s smoked, he’d say) and turned us on at a young age to bread soaked in browned butter, which we had for breakfast with hot cocoa, which reminded me that my arteries were probably already clogged by the time I was 15, so I’d better make something with olive oil, which reminded me that they just published a study this week showing that a Mediterranean Diet actually lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Which meant I would not be making brussels sprouts with butter and maple syrup, or braised with cream, or these with cheese (even if both Meryl and Amy love them that way). I could braise them like Julia does, or in Dijon like Deb does, or roast them like Ina does, or make any one of these 17 wonderful preparations. All of which would be lovely, but not earth shattering or brilliantly new.
By then, it was 7 pm and we needed to get dinner on the table.
And I realized that if I stopped trying to change the world and just sauteed these lovely sprouts with a bit of onion in some olive oil, then deglazed the pan with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and tossed in a few toasted pine nuts, I’d have pretty much a perfect preparation that I would completely adore.
So that is exactly what I did.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PINE NUTS & BALSAMIC VINEGAR
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 pint brussels sprouts
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Toast pine nuts in a small saute pan over low heat, tossing frequently till evenly toasted – about 4 minutes. Rinse the sprouts in cold water and drain. Slice off the little stem end and remove any yellow or browned leaves. Then quarter the sprouts lengthwise. Slice the onion into pieces about the same length as the sprouts. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan till hot, then saute the sprouts and onion till browned, about 5 minutes, stirring several times, but making sure they stay still long enough in the pan to get nicely browned. De-glaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, toss in the pine nuts, transfer to a serving bowl and serve.