Brussels sprouts have been growing in North American gardens since the early 1800’s. It is known that Thomas Jefferson had them in his garden in 1812. It is said they hail from classical times and they have been mentioned in the 13th century as well. They were a favorite wedding feast dish in the Burgundian court at Lille in the 15th century.
As a child, I loved them. One of the few vegetables that I did like. I was not then or am I now a fan of many veggies. I do try though.
The recipe below is one of my most favorite ways to enjoy Brussels sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Maple Syrup
1 large, crisp apple, peeled and cut into bite-sized wedges
1 lemon, juice only
Few pinches of fine-grain sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil (or as much as is needed)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (more or less)
12 ounces (3/4 pound). Brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon.
I like to sauté the garlic and shredded sprouts together in a wok, but you can use any large frying pan. So, when the pan or wok is hot, add the oil and then the sprouts and garlic with the pinch of sea salt. Careful not to burn the garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes or so – then add the diced apples and cook until the spouts begin go wilt a bit and the apple bits become slightly soft, but not too soft as the sweet crunch is very nice indeed.
At the very end, just before plating – drizzle with the maple syrup and toss in the pan. Once you’ve made the dish, you can either add or subtract more or less maple syrup. It will depend on how sweet you like the dish to be. You should remember though that Brussels sprouts do not keep their flavor long – so serve immediately. I don’t mind leftovers on this dish though, but that may be just me, they can tend to become a bit bitter when left too long.
If you wish you can add things like bacon, pine nuts or raisins. Use your imagination.
Serves 4 as a side dish.