As a side dish or a filling main course, this recipe brings a much maligned vegetable to the center of the table. Anyone who loves Brussels sprouts knows that the secret to releasing a sweet and delightful flavor is in how you cook them -- get it wrong and you can see how they became such a disliked food. But get it right and you wonder why you don't have them every night! This recipe pairs the tender and sweet flavors of the vegetable with savory sauteed shallots and earthy mushrooms, with everything tied together with a hint of white wine.
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If you are one of those people who turns your nose up at Brussels sprouts, then chances are you grew up eating over-cooked, mushy sprouts that made your house smell terrible. Roasting them or sauteing them in a pan makes them deliciously sweet and nutty flavoured, a fry cry from the boiled mess you might have tried passing to the dog under the table.
I bought Brussels sprouts on the stalk at the farmers' market the other day, and decided to pair them up with some saffron milk cap mushrooms. I had never tried these mushrooms before, and I got them the same day I bought the Hen of the Woods mushrooms. I thought the nuttiness of the sprouts would work well with the earthiness of the mushrooms, and so it was. You could use any type of wild mushroom here, or if you like, regular button mushrooms. We just had this as a side dish for the two of us, but you could put it on top of polenta or risotto and it would be delicious for a main course dish.
Brussels Sprouts with Wild Mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 - 3 shallots, thinly sliced
10 Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, sliced in half
6 or 7 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
Splash of white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small pan heat olive oil and add shallots, cooking until translucent, 4 or 5 minutes. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until browned and just tender, 6 - 10 minutes, depending on the size of the sprouts.
2. Remove shallots and sprouts to a bowl and set aside. Add more oil to the pan in necessary and add mushrooms and thyme leaves, cooking until tender, 5 or 10 minutes, depending on the type of mushroom you use. Add a splash of white wine and salt and pepper to taste. Return shallots and sprouts to the pan and cook until just heated through.