Every winter season, I look forward to the wide availability of Brussels sprouts and acorn squash. I prepare them many different ways, but I make it a point to never overwhelm the distinct flavors of these seasonal veggies.
This time around, I steamed the vegetables until tender, then sautéed them in a little butter until caramelized. Finally, I glazed them in balsamic-maple syrup. The children love this dish because of its intriguing flavors; the sweet, tart and savory notes with a hint of maple in the background got very positive reviews.
Servings: 8 servings
1 acorn squash
1-½ pounds Brussels sprouts (about 3 dozen)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter (or more oil)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-½ tablespoons maple syrup
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
Trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Using a paring knife, make a deep criss-cross incision at the bottom of the vegetables .
Cut the acorn squash in half, vertically, leaving the skin on. Remove the seeds and the strings in the center. Cut into 8 small wedges.
Place both vegetables in a small pot and cover with just enough cold water to barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a full boil then lower the heat to medium-high. Cook for about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Drain and remove as much liquid as possible.
Once the vegetables are cool enough to handle, peel the skin from the acorn squash and cut each piece into thirds; quarter the Brussels sprouts.
Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot, add the shallot and slowly cook until tender and caramelized, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add butter, the Brussels sprouts and acorn squash. Toss well and cook, for about 3-4 minutes, until caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter.
In the same pan, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Once the vinegar is bubbling and looks thick, add maple syrup. Place the vegetables back in the pan, so the balsamic glaze coats each one fully. Deglaze the pan with about ½ to 3/4 cup of water. Scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the liquid evaporates and is reduced to a glaze.
Check seasoning. Add more salt, if necessary, and black pepper.
If you're concerned about the appearance of the glaze, you can substitute white balsamic vinegar. I just did not have any left on hand.
I used maple syrup. If you don't have any, you could use other sweeteners such as molasses, honey or agave nectar.