Dirt to Table Experience: Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries Pecans and Blue Cheese

PUBLISHED ON: 03.23.2013

Mental note to self.…Grow MORE brussels sprouts NEXT fall.

One of the many challenges that presents itself each season (keeping in mind my novice gardening skills), is how much to grow.  The lesson that needs to be learned is asking the question, what vegetables do we want to enjoy seasonally, and which ones should be preserved or “put-up” as they like to say here in the South to enjoy throughout the year.  You would think that would be easy, it is not.

I realize that brussels sprouts (like beets) can be a love it,  or hate it vegetable.  Brussels sprouts easily fall into my “love them” category.  What makes brussels sprouts more beautiful is that they grow very well during the fall/winter season here in north Florida.  The question that begs to be asked is why we only planted four plants?  Four plants will give you enough bounty to enjoy seasonally for two people. We need more than that!

While perusing Pinterest, I came across a recipe that was a wonderful way to enjoy brussels sprouts in a way that reflects the season with cranberries, pecans and a bit of blue cheese.

You can tell these are fresh from the garden
This is a beautiful side dish. If you choose to use the barley then you have a meatless main entree.
Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries Pecans and Blue Cheese
Serves 4
Recipe from Rachel Schultz

1pound brussels sprouts, halved
2/3 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola or other blue cheese
1/3 cup pecans
2 cups (measured uncooked barley) cooked
Note: I did not use the barley. 
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
Heat skillet with a drizzling of olive oil over medium heat.  Season brussels sprouts with salt and freshly ground pepper and combine with cranberries in skillet.
Cook sprouts and cranberries for 8-10 minutes until berries begin to burst and sprouts become tender.  Add balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.  Stir to coat and remove from heat.
Toss barley, sprouts, cranberries and pecans in a large bowl.  Top with blue cheese and serve.

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