brussels, the vegetable you thought you hated (but you were so wrong)
oh mark bittman, you irreverent, witty and genius bald man, you've done it again. you've posted a superbly simple and delicious recipe that is so easily veganizable we knew we had to get on it asap.
in a recent autumnal recipe posted under "the minimalist" column, bittman praises the little sphere everyone loves to hate: brussels sprouts. when emma and i were little, boiled brussels sprouts were the typical "I WILL NOT EAT THIS" side dish and a forceful threat of no dessert had us hesistantly biting in to the boiled, soggy balls of green. fortunately, somewhere around 17 or 18 i discovered roasted brussels and quickly thereafter, sauteed brussels and a new love was born. gone were the days of cutting into a soggy sprout and having hot water squirt in your eye. au revoir to the threat of no dessert, because i definitely cleaned my plate if a crisp, golden sprout was upon it.
as the name of the column, "the minimalist", suggests, this recipe is simple, no frills and no fuss but allllll flavor. the ingredients are scant: brussels, bacon (we opted for tempeh bacon, thank you very much), figs, salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic. that's only six ingredients, dudes! and s&p barely count! this is how it went down:
brussels sprouts with bacon and figs
adapted from mark bittman
2 T olive oil
1 recipe of tempeh bacon
1 lb brussels
1 cup dried figs, stemmed and quartered
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste
prepare tempeh bacon according to the recipe linked above. set aside in a bowl and try not to eat it all before everything else is ready (this is the hardest part of the recipe).
slice brussels into thin discs by hand, or with the slicing attachment of the food processor, if you're so fortunate to own one. heat the olive oil in a pan over medium flame. add sprouts, figs and 1/4 cup water, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper and let that baby go for about 10 minutes until sprouts and figs are tender. crank the heat to medium high and stir for 5-10 minutes until the water evaporates. add the tempeh bacon (if there's any left at this point!) and give everything a nice stir. when thoroughly heated through, add balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.
then marvel at how much you love brussels sprouts.
we served ours with a side of roasted asparagus and chickpea cutlets (from isa's veganomicon) with a wine mushroom sauce. YUM!