If you imagine the produce section as a playground, I think Brussels sprouts are the most bullied kid at recess. If you love them (like all of us in my house do) you really love them, if you don’t, you likely despise them. There never seems to be any in between. We eat them all fall, not just at holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas but whether they are an everyday food or an occasional obligation, they are worthy of a place on your most festive dinner menus, especially when they are done right. By right I mean not just boiled or steamed. A simple steam or a bath in a boiling pot makes them good, but in order to make them great they need a little jazzing up. With less than 2 weeks until Christmas, here is a really easy, delicious new-school way to enjoy an old favourite (or foe).
Around these parts we make them barely cooked so they don’t get soft and skunky, and make them really flavourful. In this case, it all begins with fresh lemon zest and garlic.
A liberal grating of each will do (about 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 a large lemon).
Then about 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, any discoloured leaves plucked and discarded and each sprout sliced in half.
In a large skillet, sautee the sprouts in a tablespoon of olive oil for about 4 minutes on medium high heat, tossing and stirring frequently. Aim to have a bit of brown on them and to cook them almost through. Dump the sauteed sprouts into a shallow baking dish and stir in the lemon zest and garlic. Top with 1/2 a cup of finely grated parmesan cheese.
Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 15 minutes until the cheese is browned and the sprouts are tender all the way through.