Brussels sprouts for grown-ups

We all agree that we like Brussels sprouts now, right? I mean, growing up I never saw one, let alone ate one, and they were the fabled vegetable served by witches or those otherwise meaning to do harm to children, right?

But it turns out that they're quite good. Awesome, even. I've learned to really love those tiny balls of cabbage in many incarnations. They cook quickly and are pretty on a plate, take flavors well, and have a nice crunch. If you haven't tried Brussels sprouts lately, you really should give them another go.

I often just put them in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper and brown them for a few minutes, and there never was a prettier or simpler vegetable side dish.

But they're nice to dress up too. This is a little dish that will impress your dinner guests and they never have to know it only took a few minutes and a few ingredients to put together.

Brussels Sprouts in Plum Sauce with Goat Cheese

Brussels Sprouts in Plum Sauce with Goat Cheese by Richard Gwin

Brussels Sprouts in Plum Sauce with Goat Cheese

3 cups Brussels sprouts, whole
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
3 plums
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 cup water

Peel the plums, remove the pits and dice. Mince the garlic and ginger. Over medium heat, simmer the plums, garlic, and ginger, stirring occasionally until the plums are soft and aromatic.

Add the rest of the ingredients, cook for about 3 more minutes, then give everything a good blend with a stick blender or food processor until it's almost smooth.

Heat the butter in a skillet (I always prefer cast-iron) over medium-high heat, and toss in the Brussels sprouts. Resist the urge to move them around too much; you want them to get a nice brown crust on each side. This will take about 8 minutes.

Pour the sauce over in the hot pan. Remove from heat, sprinkle the goat cheese over, and serve piping hot.

Even the staunchest sprout-hater will come around to this, I promise.

Serves 4.

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