I remember the first time I set out to cook Brussels sprouts. It was a handful of years ago when I was still living in Connecticut in my somewhat run-down but hugely spacious third-floor walk-up apartment — the one that I wouldn’t come to appreciate until I moved into my first Boston studio. I was in the neighborhood Stop & Shop, armed with an Ina Garten recipe, my creaky old carriage quickly filling up with all my necessities — a pound of bacon, a bag of golden raisins, a carton of chicken stock. But I could not find the Brussels sprouts. I could not find them anywhere.
That was the day that I discovered the unusual way in which Brussels sprouts grow. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about it, you should really have a look here.) Wielding my Brussels sprout branch from the produce shelf into my shopping cart made me feel like I was gearing up to compete in some match of brawn and vigor. I was Babe Ruth. I was Braveheart. I was the American Gladiator of the produce section.
Trader Joe’s sells their Brussels sprouts in more approachable preparations, and my most favorite way to buy it from them is pre-shredded. Sure, I’ve hand shredded many a Brussels sprout in my day, but having also once plucked each itty bitty cabbage off the branch from which it came, I sometimes like to think I’m deserving of such shortcuts. It’s the law of averages, isn’t it?
These shredded Brussels sprouts are inspired by the ones I put together later that evening in my big, fat, sub-suburban kitchen. I can still remember wrinkling my nose at Ina’s idea to add raisins, but I followed her lead anyways (after all, we always do what Ina says). It ended up being a good call; the big sweetness of the little raisins plays well with the verdant, freshness of the Brussels — so much so that I’ve even upped the ante a bit with a drop or so of balsamic vinegar. And, as a final touch, I made these Brussels really sing (ie, crunch) with a little toss of sliced almonds at the very end. I hope you like them!
Jeweled Brussels Sprouts — Gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant.
- 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- Garlic salt (I like the Trader Joe’s variety, sold in a grinder)
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 tablespoons golden rainsins
- 1 pound shredded Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons sulfite-free balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
In a saute pan over medium heat, melt the ghee. Add the onion and a bit of garlic salt, and cook until translucent. Add the raisins and golden raisins and cook just a minute longer. Add the Brussels sprouts and continue to saute until bright green, about 4-5 minutes. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and cook for a few minutes longer, until the zing of the vinegar cooks down, leaving the Brussels sprouts sweet and tart. Season with additional garlic salt as needed, and serve with a sprinkling of sliced almonds.