There seems to be a general idea that Brussels sprouts need to be boiled or steamed before they are eaten or further prepared. In fact there are a number of different ways to prepare this universal vegetable. There are some wonderful recipes for baking them and they can even be pureed. This last week we had some nice sprouts and we remembered another way to prepare them, sautéing them with speck, thyme and onions.
We began as usual by washing, peeling off the outer leaves and cutting off the base of the sprouts, then cut them lengthwise in half.
Ingredients for 6 servings
2½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (alternative: 150 g speck or pancetta)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 sprigs thyme or savory (or 1/8 tsp dried)
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
In a large frying pan (we like cast iron) heat the oil over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, onions, salt and herbs and sauté for about 15 minutes or until the sprouts begin to soften. Stir regularly and reduce the heat if the vegetables begin to burn.
Add the bacon and continue sautéing until the sprouts are soft (another 5 to 10 minutes). Sprinkle the lemon juice (if using) over the sprouts, stir and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.
These were so tasty we had them as a main course, however they would also serve well as a side to any meat dish.