Like most kids, I didn’t like to eat Brussels sprouts much when I was younger. And I always thought I was lucky that my mom never made it much. I don’t think it was because my sister and I hated the bitter cabbage-like vegetable, but it was because Brussels sprouts aren’t used in Chinese dishes much.
Over time, these miniature cabbages have grown on me and I’ve learned to appreciate this healthy vegetable. One of my favorite Brussels sprouts recipe is to cook it with leeks, lime, ginger and butter (found in the January issue of Fine Cooking). The leeks bring a sweetness to the dish,the lime and ginger subtly brighten the nutty flavor of the sprouts and the brown butter just brings the entire dish together.
Brussels Sprouts and Leeks with Lime-Ginger Butter
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp minced peeled ginger
1 medium lime, finely grate 1 tsp zest and squeeze 1 tbsp juice
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
550g Brussels sprouts
3 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only
Trim the Brussels sprouts lengthwise and quarter the large ones and halve the smaller ones. Cut the leeks into 1/2″ thick rings, and separate and wash well, but don’t dry.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat until light brown (swirling the pan occasionally), about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime zest and juice.
In a 15″ skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and add the Brussels sprouts and 1 tsp salt. Stir to coat the sprouts with oil.
Cover the pan with the lid leaving ajar by 1 inch. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 8-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and turn the heat down to low, and add the leeks (while it’s still wet) and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes. Ensure the vegetables are in a single layer so that most of the vegetables have contact with the pan. When done, the leeks should be limp and the sprouts would be browned.
Remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter mixture to sprouts and leeks and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan and coat the vegetables with the butter. Season with salt. Serve.