brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and browned butter

If I have a vegetable nemesis, it’s brussel sprouts.  I hated them when I was a kid and, unlike many of the other foods I have grown to love in adulthood, brussel sprouts just never “took”.

My husband loves them, though, and every so often I will pick up a freezer box from the store, stick the frozen block in a bit of water in a saucepan and heat them through.

He’s happy.

He eats the whole thing himself.

When we got them from the CSA two straight weeks, I decided I was going to give them another go.  Lots of people simply oven roast them, but I knew it was going to take more than that to convert me.

Resisting the urge to add bacon or pancetta  (which- I’ll just say it-makes everything better) I came across a couple of recipes calling for nuts and butter. A few adjustments and this is what I came up with.  I cooked some pasta, too, and tossed it all together on the plate.

brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and browned butter

2 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed

3 Tbsp butter

1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 cup whole hazelnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Blanch the brussel sprouts:  bring two cups of salted water to a boil.  Add brussel sprouts and cook 10 minutes.  Drain and run cold water over.  Drain again and set aside.

Add olive oil to a large saucepan.  Add shallots and saute over medium heat until tender and lightly brown.  Drain from oil and set aside.

In the same saucepan, add butter and melt over medium heat until brown and bubbly.  Whisk in flour and cook until light brown.  Slowly add stock, whisking the entire time.  Cook until the sauce has thickened.  Add lemon juice, nutmeg, sage, and salt and pepper to taste.  Fold in brussel sprouts and hazelnuts.

Transfer to a 8-cup baking dish or casserole.  Spread shallots on top and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake about 15 minutes.

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