MAPLE-SYRUP-AND-MUSTARD BRUSSELS SPROUTS is excerpted from Everyday Dorie © 2018 by Dorie Greenspan. Photography © 2018 by Ellen Silverman. Reproduced by permission of Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
MAPLE-SYRUP-AND-MUSTARD BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Makes 4 servings
I don’t know when Brussels sprouts became a darling of the dinner table. You find them big and small everywhere now, and even corner greengrocers have pre-shredded sprouts and sprouts that have been separated into leaves. It’s good news for all of us who love these mini-cabbages.
As big as Brussels sprouts’ flavor is, it’s a vegetable that mixes happily with other bold ingredients. For this dish, the sprouts are steamed, then seared, glazed with mustard and maple syrup and finished with bits of bacon. To build in even more flavor, they’re steamed with slivers of garlic and shallot.
You can swap the maple syrup for balsamic vinegar, honey or brown sugar, in which case you may or may not want to ditch the mustard (I wouldn’t).
1 pound (454 grams) Brussels sprouts, regular or mini, trimmed and, if large, cut in half from top to bottom
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), germ removed (see page 320) and cut into slivers
1 shallot, cut into slivers, rinsed and patted dry
6 strips thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or more to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (grainy, smooth or a mix, preferably French), or more to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cider vinegar (optional)
WORKING AHEAD: You can steam the Brussels sprouts up to 1 day ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator.
- Set up a steamer. Season the Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper and toss them with the garlic and shallot. Steam the sprouts until the tip of a small knife can easily poke into but not completely pierce them, 8 to 10 minutes. (If your Brussels sprouts are large and/or older, they may take a bit more time.) Remove the sprouts (including the garlic and shallots) from the steamer and set them aside; if you are doing this ahead of time, dunk the Brussels sprouts in ice water or run cold water over them to stop the cooking, then pat them dry. (You can cook the sprouts up to 1 day ahead and keep them refrigerated. Bring to room temperature or warm them by cooking gently before proceeding.)
- While the sprouts are steaming, cook the bacon in a large saucepan or high-sided skillet until crisp. Drain it between a triple thickness of paper towels, then coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces. Set the pan aside.
- Mix the maple syrup and mustard together.
- Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat from the skillet and add the olive oil to the pan. Turn the heat to high, and when the oil is shimmering, add the Brussels sprouts. Cook, turning a few times, until the sprouts are charred here and there and crisp-tender. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the maple-mustard mixture. Cook, stirring, until the sprouts are uniformly glazed. Stir in the set-aside bacon, season with salt and pepper, then taste and add more syrup and/ or mustard, if needed. If you’d like a touch of acidity, add a splash of vinegar.
- Serve immediately.
STORING: Leftovers can be refrigerated and served in a salad the next day.
CHOICES: I often make the sprouts the main event, serving them over mashed sweet potatoes (you might want to double up on the glaze in that case, so the mixture is saucier) or, for something lighter, over a salad tossed with a vinaigrette that’s heavy on the vinegar. If you opt for a salad, think about one that includes greens like kale or spinach.
Note from p. 320 on Onions, Shallots and Garlic: To help get all the good flavor from onions and shallots, I take a quick extra step at prep time. After I’ve sliced or chopped them, I rinse them under cold water and then pat them dry. The short rinse washes away the bitter liquid that’s drawn out when you cut them. If I’m using the onion (or shallot) raw in a salad, I sometimes rinse it and then let the slices sit in a bowl of cold water — the chill gives them added crunch.
Unless I’m using whole garlic cloves, smashed or otherwise, I always cut each peeled clove in half the long way so that I can chisel out the green germ that runs the length of it. I learned this trick years ago when I was working with the chef Daniel Boulud, who had learned it years before when he was an apprentice in France. Removing the germ tones down garlic’s brashest flavors, and it may make the garlic more easily digestible — the jury’s still out on that.