The evenings are getting a bit cooler, even here in Los Angeles. And the crispness in the air makes me think of Brussels sprouts, or as I used to call them as a kid, baby cabbages. I have to say that I love those little orbs that denote fall, the comfort of a sweater and longer nights. Are you one of those people who cringe at the thought of the lowly sprout? Fear not, you are genetically predisposed to your reaction, you’ve got the bitterness gene. (Not to be confused with a mental pre-dispositition to bitterness.)
I have tried to convert the Brussels sprout adverse over the years with little success, that was until I paid a visit to my old friends at Alta in NYC. Owner Christopher Chestnut has a knack for creating really great restaurants by allowing his chefs to work to their strengths. I worked for him at El Teddy’s and whenever we are visiting friends we make sure to stop in to see Christopher, Ralph another El Teddy alum who manages the place and Victor.
It was on a cold NYC winter that I first tasted the most delicious Brussels sprouts bar none. I have adapted the recipe so that it comes close to capturing the magic of the first taste of Alta’s sprouts.
ALTA’S BRUSSELS SPROUTS
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts cleaned
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup water
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Clean Brussels sprouts and cut in half
- Bring apple juice and water to boil in sauce pan.
- Add sprouts, dash of salt and cook five-ten minutes until done. Strain.
- Heat large saute pan, add olive oil and then Brussels sprouts. Make sure the cut side is on the pan surface brown for about 3 minutes.
- Add balsamic and cook until vinegar is reduced and syrupy.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.