I never had brussels sprouts growing up, probably because the name alone would have brought a wince to my eye. Not because I had tasted it and disliked it, but because I was brainwashed told as a child by various movies, books, and cartoons that brussels sprouts were gross. For some reason they rank right up there with liver as a food we weren’t supposed to like as kids. This is odd not only because they don’t have a particularly strong flavor to cause such dislike (as opposed to broccoli – yuck!), but also because they’re the perfect size vegetable for kids to pick up and play with. But I digress.
My version of brussels sprouts is sure to bring any non-believer over to the green side.
First remove the outer layer of leaves. Then cut the sprouts in half, and remove any remnants of the stem.
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium to medium high heat for a couple of minutes until hot. Place a layer of brussels sprouts flat side down in the pan. If there are too many to fit in one pan, this can be done in shifts.
Let the sprouts sizzle for three to five minutes, or until the flat side is brown.
Then turn the sprouts over and cook for an additional five minutes. If the pan gets dry, add more olive oil. The key is to let the brussels sprouts soak up the olive oil so they are crunchy on the outside, but moist inside. Sprinkle with salt and serve with balsamic vinegar as a dipping sauce. For an extra-decadent treat, sprinkle the sprouts with a little mozzarella cheese while they’re finishing in the pan for a melted, cheesy topping.