Brussels sprouts make an easy and cheerful holiday side dish, especially when combined with buttery caramelized shallots. You can caramelize the shallots and slice the sprouts early in the day, leaving only a quick sauté just before serving.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Pinch sugar
- 3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring frequently until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar. Stir until brown and glazed, about 3 more minutes. Set aside.
Halve the Brussels sprouts lengthwise, and then slice the halves very thinly (1/8-inch slices). You can prepare the recipe up to this point several hours ahead.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and sauté briskly, stirring frequently, until brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the water and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and the sprouts are just tender but still bright green, about 3 minutes. Stir in the caramelized shallots, cook until heated through. Taste for salt and pepper, and serve warm.
Note: These are best made at the last minute, but you can prepare them ahead--simply reheat in a moderate oven in a covered baking dish.