Of all the vegetables I thought I would enjoy in my life, never were Brussels sprouts high on that list. And yet here I am, enjoying these little guys weekly. There are a couple reasons why Brussels sprouts have crept into my meal plans as an always-reliable veggie to have on hand.
- They’re typically inexpensive
- They’re versatile and easy to change up texturally
- They’re super healthy and do all kinds of good stuff in the body… google it!
- They’re on pretty much every diet’s “yes” list, making it a fairly safe option for feeding company with mixed preferences
One of the ways I like to maximize the groceries I buy is mixing up the texture or ways the item was used that week, so it doesn’t feel too monotonous. So one day I’ll shred these sprouts for something like my Chicken & Brussels Sprouts Salad that’s fresh and crunchy. Then another I’ll pan roast Brussels sprouts in bacon and fennel, finishing in a smooth Dijon pan sauce, like in this recipe I’ve got for you here. It’s the same bag, bought at a great price, used two totally different ways.
Take that, adulting.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
- 2 tbsp bacon fat or lard
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp water
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Heat a thick-bottomed pan to medium and add the bacon fat (or lard).
- Add halved Brussels sprouts and fennel seeds to the hot pan, toss to coat in the bacon fat and then allow to pan-roast undisturbed for 2-3 minutes or until becoming nicely caramelized.
- Toss two or three more times to evenly pan-roast.
- Once the Brussels sprouts are nicely caramelized and have softened slightly, add the Dijon mustard and water.
- Stir well and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the pan (this is called deglazing).
- Turn the heat off and cover the pan with a lid.
- Allow the Brussels sprouts to rest, covered, for 5 minutes or so. The steam will help to finish cooking.
- When ready to serve, toss the Brussels sprouts in the pan sauce once again.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, serve warm.
A few items help this recipe come together smoothly.
A great saute pan or stainless steel skillet with a secure lid is the critical piece of kitchen gear that you’ll need here. Of course, you’ll also need a decent chef’s knife to halve the Brussels sprouts with and then that gets me thinking about a cutting board — when you can, go bamboo or another wooden board. They’re so much gentler on knives and help keep them sharp. Plenty of those must-have items can be found at good prices!