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Brussels Sprouts

Named for the city in Belgium, this tiny member of the cabbage family is rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and low in calories. Fall and winter are the optimum times to purchase these healthy little nuggets when they should be at their best. Before you dismiss the idea, put aside the image of those pale overcooked offerings you may have experienced in the past and try the following recipe, which is sure to bring out their natural sweetness, maximize their nutritional value and give you an entire new way of looking at Brussels sprouts.

Blistered Brussels Sprouts
2 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, washed,  
   ends trimmed and cut in half
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots or ½ small onion,
   coarsely chopped
6 thin slices prosciutto, chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black
   pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and garlic cloves and blanch for 4-5 minutes. Pour into a colander, and rinse with cold water until completely cool. Slice sprouts in half and cut garlic cloves into thin slivers.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil and shallots or onion and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add prosciutto and sauté 1 minute. Add Brussels sprouts and garlic and stir well. Cook without stirring for about 3 minutes. Stir again and cook without stirring 3-4 minutes more until shallots and Brussels sprouts begin to caramelize. Season to taste with coarse salt and ground black pepper. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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