Brussels Sprouts with Pearl Onions

In my recent experiments with Brussels sprouts, a vegetable I’ve rediscovered after years of neglect, I’ve found that this vegetable works best when left simple. This is another simple Brussels sprouts recipe (check the first one here Sautéed Brussels Sprouts) which uses minimal ingredients from your pantry or kitchen drawer but the result is well worth it. I see many recipes online that asks for boiling Brussels sprouts and discarding the water because it can be slightly bitter but we Indians have grown up with turning something as bitter as bitter gourd into gourmet delectable recipes like the Bengali shukto (Mixed Vegetables with Bitter Gourd) or the North Indian Bharwa Karela (stuffed bitter melon) so a little bitterness of Brussels sprouts is no comparison to that. Also, aren’t you throwing away all the nutrients when you discard the water you boiled the vegetables in? I think the texture of the Brussels sprouts will also change once you boil it. This is crunchy, flaky and salty with just a touch of spice with that smoky paprika. It is healthy, delicious and can be eaten as a side dish or on its own. Try it and let me know what you think! @sarchakra

PREP TIME: 5 mins

COOK TIME: 15 mins

YIELDS: 3

Ingredients

  • Brussels sprouts 8 oz
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Pearl onions a handful, halved
  • Smoky paprika 2 tsp, divided
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper 1 tsp
  • Parmesan grated freshly for garnish, about 3 tbsp

Method

  • Prepare the Brussels sprouts. The package I usually buy from Target already has the sprouts cut off at the stems and cleaned but I like to halve them and sometimes even quarter them depending on the size so that the caramelization can work its magic through all those layers.
  • Heat the olive oil. Add in the halved pearl onions. Cook for a couple of minutes till slightly translucent. Add in the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Cook on a medium flame stirring intermittently till it starts to caramelize in all the sides. This should take in total of 15 minutes. Take care that it doesn’t burn.
  • Garnish with the rest of the smoky paprika and a generous amount of grated Parmesan.

Notes

Pearl onions are a bit tricky to take the skin off. Blanching them in boiling water makes the task easy breezy.

A cast iron pan becomes an essential tool for this recipe. It helps the onions to turn a dark caramel color. This is practically impossible to achieve with a regular non-stick pan. Caramelized onions lend an amazing flavor to the dish.

The two main ingredients
Sauté pearl onions
Add Brussels sprouts and seasoning
Sprinkle remaining paprika and grated Parmesan
Brussels Sprouts with Pearl Onions is ready
Closeup

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