Meatless Monday – Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shallots and Toasted Pinenuts

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Bacon, need I say more?  There is a reason people put bacon on everything because well, it’s bacon!  What if you wanted to get the look and feel of bacon but not use actual bacon?  I have stumbled upon a very worthy substitute and I couldn’t be more obsessed excited.  My husband really loves Brussels sprouts and most recipes call for bacon whose salty, crispy, fattiness is a good companion for the firm somewhat sharp taste of the Brussels sprouts. Since I no longer cook with bacon I turned to my new love and obsession, crispy shallots.  I can’t say enough about these wondrous delicious rings.  Usually shallots are sautéed in butter or oil to a delicate translucence and added to dishes for a subtle but lovely flavor.  Shallots are completely transformed from best supporting actor to leading lady, however, when they are caramelized or crisped; sautéed on low heat in butter and oil for a half hour or so, into a delicious, crispy, savory pile of yumminess.  Like I said, I’m obsessed.  In my last post, Root Vegetable Tian with Goat Cheese and Crispy Shallots, I combined the shallots with olive oil,garlic and herbs and allowed them to crisp on top of the tian which was successful because it had to roast in the oven for about 45 minutes giving the shallots time to crisp.  This time, however, since I am adding the shallots to the Brussels sprouts as a topping, I decided to crisp them properly. Wow!  I have a feeling I will be making big batches  and putting them on everything.  it’s hard to think of a savory dish that they wouldn’t complement.

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TIP:  If you don’t have the time, or don’t want to go to the trouble, to crisp the shallots or toast the pine nuts, just sauté them together with the Brussels sprouts.  It will be delicious, just not the same wow factor – same ingredients but different presentation. If you do crisp the shallots, make extra because you will want to put them on everything.  Don’t be tempted to speed up the process by turning the heat up.  You will end up with blackened burned bits instead of lovely golden brown crispiness. Shallots can be made ahead and stored at room temperature for several days.

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CRISPY SHALLOTS AND TOASTED PINE NUTS

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1.5-2 pounds brussels sprouts
6-8 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

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  • Prepare crispy shallots if using.  If not sauté shallots several minutes until translucent before adding the garlic and Brussels sprouts.

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  • Toast pine nuts in a dry pan for several minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Thinly slice (or shave) brussels sprouts using a processor fitted with thin slicing disk or a mandolin.

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  • Melt butter with olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add brussels sprouts and sauté until tender, 7 or 8 minutes. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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  • Top with crispy shallots and pine nuts.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shallots and Toasted Pinenuts

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Brussels Sprouts1

1.5-2 pounds brussels sprouts
6-8 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

  • Prepare crispy shallots (recipe below) if using.  If not sauté shallots several minutes until translucent before adding the garlic and Brussels sprouts.
  • Toast pine nuts in a dry pan for several minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Thinly slice (or shave) brussels sprouts using a processor fitted with thin slicing disk or a mandolin.
  • Melt butter with olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add brussels sprouts; increase heat to medium-high and sauté until tender, 7 or 8 minutes. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Top with crispy shallots and pine nuts.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Crispy Shallots

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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6-8 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup olive oil (or other good oil)

  • Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the shallots, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are a rich golden brown.  Stir the shallots occasionally to make sure they brown evenly. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to speed the process. Add oil if necessary.
  • Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain well and spread out to cool on paper towels.
  • Crispy shallots can be stored at room temperature for several days.

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