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Not your mother’s Brussels sprouts: Brussels Sprouts with Crisp Prosciutto

September 29, 2010

Our week of farmer’s market, low-cost dishes continues and today’s recipe is for Brussels sprouts!  Before you close this window and swear off the infamous little vegetable, I think it is worth checking out.  You might just find the little guys don’t really live up to their big, bad name.

Brussels Sprouts with Crisp Prosciutto
Yields: 6 Servings

3 cup Brussels sprouts (about 1 1/2 pounds, trimmed and halved)
1/4 cup Prosciutto (about 1 1/2 ounces, chopped)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice

1. Prepare Brussels sprouts by removing any limp outer leaves and closely trim the stem.  Be sure to not cut too much of the stem off or the Brussels sprouts may come apart.
2. Cook Brussels sprouts in boiling water 3 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add prosciutto. Cook 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove from pan; set aside.
4. Heat pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add butter, salt, and pepper, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; drizzle with juice. Add prosciutto; toss to combine.

I cannot remember the last time I had Brussels sprouts, so I was excited to try out this recipe and give the little guys another shot.  I was really glad I did because they actually turned out to be delicious!  (The salty prosciutto probably didn’t hurt.)

Since I had never prepared them before, I would probably adjust this recipe just slightly.  I would recommend cutting off a little more of the stalk of the sprout, rather than just trimming the ends.  Like their cabbage big brother, that center stalk was a little fibrous.  In addition, I would have boiled them for longer than the recipe specifies.  It could be that I was working with larger sprouts, but I let them go for 5 or 6 minutes and they still tasted too dense.  I would pay close attention when you are cooking and ensure they are truly fork tender before removing from the boiling water.

Unfortunately as many of you know, prosciutto tends to be expensive.   I find it makes a huge taste difference so rather than forgo it all together, I just have the butcher give me the exact amount I need to save on cost.  In this case, two slices were sufficient.  And although I like prosciutto better, using bacon is definitely a budget friendly alternative.

They are only in season for most of the country for another month or so, so try them soon!  Or move to California and enjoy them for the next six months.

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