When it comes to Brussels sprouts, I’m generally a purist: savory, with olive oil, salt, high heat, maybe some pancetta if it’s on hand and the mood strikes. So you can imagine my reaction the other week when my lovely mother-in-law suggested steaming them, then tossing with maple syrup. I couldn’t go there, but I agreed to split the difference. We went with my usual method but added in the dash of maple toward the end to glaze them. I will be the first to admit that my skepticism went out the window. This is a new family favorite, and with the sweetness, may even entice a reluctant “sprout” to partake.
Note: This is my hands-down favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts, requiring stove and oven. If that is too complicated, skip the oven part and cover the pan with a lid to steam them for a few minutes toward the end of cooking.
Preheat oven to 425º.
Wash the Brussels sprouts, trim ends and cut in half lengthwise (for faster cooking and bite-sized eating). Heat a large, oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add a few tablespoons of a neutral oil (sunflower, safflower, grapeseed are good options) or butter, warm/melt and toss in the vegetables. Sauté on high heat, making sure to toss them to prevent burning, for about 5 minutes, until the outer leaves and edges soften up. Once this happens, place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes, checking occasionally, until they are fully cooked through. Add oil as needed when they are in the oven, to ensure they don’t stick to the pan or burn. Remove the pan from the oven, toss the Brussels sprouts with a tablespoon or two of maple syrup (to taste) and a dash of sea salt.