Sprinkling dishes with buttered crumbs, called “au gratin,” is one of our favorite ways to prepare vegetables. Sometimes we add toasted nuts or spices like curry or chili powder to the crumbs but always in small amounts so they won’t overpower the taste of the vegetables. Here, lemon rind and parsley are delicious with the Brussels sprouts.
To make these Brussels sprouts, we first cooked them in a steamer basket over boiling water, until we can just pierce them with a fork. Then we add them to a skillet of hot butter and cook them, turning with a large spoon, with until they are partially browned. They won’t brown all over but just enough to add flavor and color.
Try to buy sprouts that are about the same size. If some are larger than others, cut larger ones in quarters and smaller ones in halves so the pieces are similar in size and cook evenly.
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into halves lengthwise
2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Steam sprouts in steamer basket over boiling water until tender, about 7 minutes.
2. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, tossing often, until browned. Remove to a plate. It’s OK if some crumbs are left in pan.
3. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in the same pan. Add sprouts, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add lemon rind and parsley and toss to combine. Transfer sprouts to serving plate and top with bread crumbs. Serves 4.
Per serving: 140 calories, 8g fat, 20mg chol., 5g prot., 15g carbs., 5g fiber, 280mg sodium
Photo credit: Teresa Blackburn